Tim Leeds Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
While temperatures dropped in north-central Montana Monday night, something people may have expected to drop didn't, at least not in the Havre area: snow. “Most fell south of you,” Great Falls National Weather Service meteorologist David Williamson said this morning, adding that the forecast for the Havre area includes cold nights and chilly days with little snow through the weekend but a greater chance of snow in the longterm outlook. The Weather Service reported a low in Havre of 5 degrees at about 3 a. m. this morning, but no measurable precipitation. Other parts of the state, however, had plenty. Great Falls recorded a record-setting snowfall of almost eight inches, and other locations in the area including in Chouteau, Fergus and Judith Basin counties reported three to 15 inches of snow by Monday night. In western Montana, thousands of homes and businesses were without power Monday due to heavy snowfall, The Associated Press reports. Heavy snowfall ranging from 10 to 13 inches at higher elevations and six to 10 inches on the valley floors caused extensive tree damage in areas and downed power lines. Thousands were without power in the Hamilton and Missoula areas, including Alberton, Lolo, Bonner and Clinton. Little snow fell west or east of Havre, although two inches was reported eight miles northeast of Chouteau in Teton County. Williamson said some snow was reported in Petroleum County, but no other significant snow was reported in the east. Williamson said a few snow showers are expected to fall in north-central Montana late in the week and over the weekend, but no major accumulation is expected. The longterm outlook, however, calls for below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation. The area could see more snow falling in the 10-14 day range, he said. Temperatures are expected to stay with lows in the single digits over the next few days, with highs in the lowto mid-30s. Over the weekend, lows should increase to the teens with highs in the upper 30s, Williamson said. Hill County Extension Agent Joe Broesder said some snow would be a welcome event for agricultural producers. “We haven’t had a lot of precipitation and its starting to get a little dry again,” he said this morning. The precipitation earlier this fall did help, he added. “We had good moisture to get the winter wheat up and it’s up and looking pretty good,” he said. But some snowcover will be needed to protect the crops once the temperature drops. Winter is a critical time for that crop, Broesder said. “I think we’re in pretty good shape,” he said. “It’s early yet and if we get normal precipitation we could get a pretty good crop.” The outlook for spring crops will depend on how much snowpack the state gets and how much precipitation the area gets in the crucial spring and early summer months, “The weather will tell the story in the spring,” Broesder said.