Snow at First Sight

Just Fell for It

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Freak September Snow Storm Hits Montana

Snow in the Rockies is like ice in Antarctica, it happens. However, even for the Rockies, a September snowstorm that leaves feet of snow behind is a bit freaky. 

Snow, Cold and Wind Oh My! 

This particular storm fell from September 28-29, 2019 and affected parts of Washington, Idaho, and Montana. In Montana, the snowfall totals ranged from 48 inches in Browning in the northern part of the state, to just under 20 inches in great falls in the center of the state. 
The snow was not the only newsmaker, though. Record low temperatures reached down into the teens, and winds were howling with 30-35 mph winds. These were all record-setting numbers for a winter storm so early in the season. 

Left in the Cold 

All of these combined to bring down trees and led to widespread power outages. Following these record-breaking events, the governor issued a state of emergency for the affected areas.  

It Ends with a Flood 

One of the concerns following this storm was the amount of snow that fell in just a couple of days, and the quick melt-off that was to follow, leading to area flooding and concerns over mud. You can read even more about this unprecedented snow event in this news article from NPR. 

Unbelievable Blizzard Hits Salina

Kansas is no stranger to winter storms. However, the blizzard that hit the Salina area on November 25, 2018 was one for the record books. 

An Early Winter Storm 

Several factors contributed to what made this particular blizzard a memorable one. The first being there was no previous record of a blizzard hitting Kansas before the start of the meteorological winter, which begins December 1.  

Snarling Thanksgiving Travel 

Second, this was at the end of Thanksgiving weekend. That meant travel plans were impacted, causing some to cut their trips short to avoid the hazardous weather. It was also not a long-range forecast for the blizzard. The initial estimates were for a mere two to four inches with the system. Salina saw 6.8 inches by the end of the storm. In the areas hardest hit in Kansas, snowfall totals were 14 inches. 
The change to the forecast did come with enough warning to allow some travelers to adjust their plans and come home early. Others, however, were caught on the road during the blizzard. While there were several accidents along I-70, none resulted in serious injuries. 

Swinging Temperatures 

Finally, the weather on the front end and back end of the storm was inconsistent with the such a winter phenomenon. Temperatures were in the 50’s the day before the storm. Within two days of the storm, the temperatures were back up 40’s and 50’s. For some, the blizzard provided a great reason to break out the snow toys a little early, but only to be disappointed in the snow’s quick departure.