Winter came early and broke records in some areas along the Rocky Mountains, bringing heavy snow storms months ahead of time. Montana has even declared an emergency.
The strong winds and blizzards began in Montana over the weekend and were expected to continue through Monday.
“With an unprecedented winter storm throwing our state a surprise in September, state and local governments are working closely together to protect the health and safety of Montanans,” Governor Steve Bullock said on Sunday, declaring a state of emergency as the snowfall continued.
The town of Browning has seemingly got the worst of it, receiving 48 inches of snow over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
The bad weather is also affecting parts of other states located along the Rockies, including Washington, Idaho, Nevada and even parts of California.
Major winter storm will continue to produce snow, blowing snow, and treacherous travel conditions over the northern Rockies into tonight. Winter Storm Warnings remain in effect across much of Montana, Idaho, and portions of Washington state.
— National Weather Service (@NWS) September 29, 2019
The storm system shattered a record that had stood for well over a century, delivering the earliest snowfall in Spokane, Washington since 1881.
Heavy snowfall is accompanied by strong winds, reaching some 30-35 mph at times, that make the whole situation worse, as the snow quickly piles up against buildings and vehicles.
While the Lassen Volcanic National Park in California remains open, Highway 89 going through the park will remain closed until “driving conditions improve,” the National Park Service said.
Last night the park received several inches of snow. As a result, Lassen National Park Highway is closed. The highway through the park will re-open when driving conditions improve.
Park entrances are open. Hiking trails at park entrances are covered with a light layer of snow. pic.twitter.com/37LAx1VF3x
— Lassen Volcanic NP (@LassenNPS) September 30, 2019
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