Blizzard Breaks Snowfall Records in Montana

The first blizzard of the season has resulted in widespread power outages and downed trees in parts of Montana. Treacherous travel conditions and additional power outages are possible through Tuesday, as this early-season snowstorm continues to sweep through the Rockies. 

Unlike the snow the Rockies experienced in September, this storm is having a greater impact since valley locations are also being affected, in addition to typical mountain areas.

Havre, Montana, has seen 14.8 inches of heavy, wet snow as of late Monday night, which would set a new record for highest snow total in October there if verified. The previous record was 8.6 inches, which fell on Oct. 4, 1914.

Many large tree branches are down, and all of Havre was without power the Hill County Sheriff reported around 10 p.m. Monday.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS) in Great Falls, this storm was effectively a blizzard in the Havre area, especially considering the severe impacts. A blizzard occurs when the following conditions are met for at least three hours: sustained winds or frequent gusts to at least 35 mph and considerable falling and/or blowing snow that frequently reduces visibility to less than a quarter mile.

The heaviest estimated snow amount from this storm is 30 inches in Rocky Boy, Montana. Drifts in at least one location were estimated to be eight feet high.

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Source: Weather