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Montana Isn't the Only Place That's Getting a Lot of Snow

Montana got nailed with heavy snowfall overnight. Here in the banana belt of Montana, with the mildest weather in the state, we got about six inches of snow between yesterday and today.

We aren’t alone, by a long shot. This is a huge series of snowstorms that is moving east and south. It has already dropped a huge amount of snow in the Sierras of California and the Cascades of Oregon and Washington.

Here is a good indication of the snowfall we’ve been experiencing, except this is Oregon, not Montana. 

Crater Lake Headquarters on December 19

This was a couple of months ago. It looks pretty snowy, doesn't it? There's probably four feet of snow on the ground, but the buildings are still plenty accessible. The snow is well below the top of the 18-foot snow poles.

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Just over a month later

A couple more feet have fallen a bit over a month after the first picture. The buildings are also showing more snow. This was taken during the time that Congress shut down the government, but you can see that Park employees are still plowing the roads and shoveling entries to the buildings. 

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The same view taken today

This is what it looks like on February 15. The snow is 10-12 feet deep and the clouds are showing that snow is imminent. Notice especially the bottom of the picture. That is snow that is up against the bottom of the enclosure that holds the webcam. For impact, the camera is mounted on the eaves that are a little over two stories above the ground. It isn't just snow, it is snow drifts that are slamming Crater Lake National Park.

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South entrance to Crater Lake

This is the south entrance to the park today. The snowbanks are 'only' about 8 feet high. This is also the only entrance that is open. The north entrance is closed due to snow. The Rim Drive and the Rim Village that overlook the lake are also closed due to snow and drifting snow. 

The forecast is for more of the same; heavy snowfall with winds gusting up to 30 miles per hour. This is very much like it looked last year and, in fact, how it looked when I was growing up there over 50 years ago. There has been no appreciable change in the climate at Crater Lake since I was a boy.

Montana isn't the only place that is getting slammed by snow. I did have to shovel out a three-foot berm in order to get out of the driveway this morning, but I'm quite thankful that it was only three feet. As a boy, shoveling through 8 feet of snow like what is shown in this picture wasn't a big thing. It sure would be now, in my advancing state of decomposition...er, I mean age.

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Written by Rex Trulove

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      • Well, even though you didn’t send it, it came and we can’t send it back. But the first one literally did nothing. No snow, no rain no nothing. Got to 55 degrees outside! I was watching the model for the next one. Chicago is going to get blasted hard! Hopefully, the modified winter jet stream will continue the northern push of the storm.

        • Unfortunately, the bottom of the jetstream is so far south that it would almost need to move almost due north for it to spare the great lakes and northeast. That isn’t impossible, but it is highly unlikely. I’m thinking that a greater hope would be that it will move through rapidly, rather than being halted by a high-pressure system ahead of it. That has also happened in the past.

          • The last storm you sent stayed along the edge of the Great Lakes so we missed it.

            The problem will be the jet stream bringing the Canadian Clipper, that pushes cold air well past Atlanta and means we get snow!

    • People here have been praying for more snow. The mountains have been above average in snowfall through the winter, but it has been very mild here in the valleys. Things changed rapidly this month and we are getting a couple of month’s worth of snow in just the last week and a half. God has answered the prayers, but I’m suspecting that a few people are a bit sorry that they prayed for snow now. lol

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