Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

Winter returns with a vengeance

 


Winter returns with a vengeance

Tim Leeds

An amazing stretch of warm weather may have lulled north-central Montanans into a sense of security, but Old Man Winter reared his head again this weekend, causing some traffic problems.

Havre Assistant Chief of Police Gabe Matosich said that as of 9:30 a. m., Havre police had responded to five traffic crashes since 6 a. m..

"People need to slow down, take some more time, " Matosich added.

Saturday and Sunday saw record snowfalls for Havre, mirroring a weather pattern stretching over the state.

With the snow returned bitter cold, following a week of temperatures in the 30s and 40s. The low Sunday in Havre was reported by the National Weather Service minus 23 degrees one minute before midnight. The numbers continued to drop, with reports of temperatures below minus 31 in town by early morning.

Havre Public Works Director Dave Peterson said the last week has kept his department busy — first dealing with slush and pools of melted water last week, now working on the snowfall this week.

"It really hasn't changed our output at all, " he said.

Peterson said his crews were trying to melt ice that was clogging drains as well as trying to clear snow and slush last week. The focus now is to clear the snow routes, the primary consideration during a snow event, but will return to clearing up the remaining snow piles from last week and clearing the other roads, he said.

The Public Works Department did issue a recommendation that residents consider leaving a small stream of water running to prevent pipes from freezing during the cold weather. The department reports it has received several reports of water service lines freezing, which can happen even during warmer weather.

"Warmer temperatures above ground do not reflect the temperature below ground, " a statement from the department says.

Matosich said people need to use caution with the snow now overlaying ice and snow pack on the roads. That is especially true when approaching a crash scene — some of today's wrecks came from people hitting others stopped due to a crash, he said.

"You have to be more cautious and careful coming up on a crash, " he said.

He said the crashes as of 9:30 put the number for January at 61 — much higher than normal. ***Record-setting snow

While warm weather has melted off some of the accumulation, the snow has been steadily falling on the region.

Saturday and Sunday saw record snowfall, following a week of none dropping, and added to significant amounts of accumulations.

Saturday's record-setting 3 inches of accumulation and Sunday's 6 inches raised the total for the year to 17.5 inches — more than double the average snow accumulation of 8.6 inches.

The amount since Dec. 1 of nearly 3 feet — 34.7 inches — again more than doubles the norm, 16.2 inches.

The amount that has fallen since July 1 — including the heavy early snow in mid-November, which essentially has covered the ground ever since — is an astounding 53.1 inches.

***Continuing moisture

The equivalent precipitation — which does include rainstorms that have fallen since the cold set in in November — also is far above normal.

The National Weather Service reported this morning that Havre had received 1.14 inches of precipitation in January, with the norm at. 46 inches.

That is continuing the trend of the last year. On Dec. 31, the weather service reported Havre had receive 15.89 inches of precipitation for the year, with a normal yearly precipitation of 11.44 inches.

That high level of precipitation continued a move in the state out of nearly a decade of drought. The governor's drought advisory committee officially announced the state was clear of drought last fall.

***A temporary reversal

The snow and cold this weekend has reversed a week-long move to spring-like weather.

Saturday, the high for the day was, shortly after midnight, at 29 degrees. By one minute before midnight that night, the temperature had dropped to 2 degrees, followed by the minus 23 degrees Sunday night.

Last week the temperatures ranged from a high of 45 on Thursday, with other high temperatures ranging from 36 degrees on Saturday, Jan. 22, to 41 degrees last Friday and Wednesday, and on Friday, Jan. 21.

That warming trend started nearly two weeks ago, with the last high below freezing a temperature of 11 degrees Wednesday, Jan. 19. That day saw a low of minus 16.

The chinook of the last two weeks included warm nights. Starting last week the lows stayed warm, with temperatures in the upper 20s to mid-30s. ***Warming later in week

While bitterly cold temperatures are forecast throughout the state early this week, the weather is expected to return to close to normal toward to the weekend.

The entire state is forecast to have lows below zero, ranging as low as 35 below zero, tonight.

The local forecast calls for a low of minus 37 in Havre tonight.

The forecast calls for mostly clear skies through Thursday, with moderating temperatures and a high in Havre forecast for 31 degrees Thursday. The Havre forecast for Friday calls for temperatures with a high of 36 and a chance of rain and snow in the mountains, and lows dropping into the 20s and a chance of rain and snow Saturday and snowunday.

An amazing stretch of warm weather may have lulled north-central Montanans into a sense of security, but Old Man Winter reared his head again this weekend, causing some traffic problems.

Havre Assistant Chief of Police Gabe Matosich said that as of 9:30 a. m., Havre police had responded to five traffic crashes since 6 a. m..

"People need to slow down, take some more time, " Matosich added.

Saturday and Sunday saw record snowfalls for Havre, mirroring a weather pattern stretching over the state.

With the snow returned bitter cold, following a week of temperatures in the 30s and 40s. The low Sunday in Havre was reported by the National Weather Service minus 23 degrees one minute before midnight. The numbers continued to drop, with reports of temperatures below minus 31 in town by early morning.

Havre Public Works Director Dave Peterson said the last week has kept his department busy — first dealing with slush and pools of melted water last week, now working on the snowfall this week.

"It really hasn't changed our output at all, " he said.

Peterson said his crews were trying to melt ice that was clogging drains as well as trying to clear snow and slush last week. The focus now is to clear the snow routes, the primary consideration during a snow event, but will return to clearing up the remaining snow piles from last week and clearing the other roads, he said.

The Public Works Department did issue a recommendation that residents consider leaving a small stream of water running to prevent pipes from freezing during the cold weather. The department reports it has received several reports of water service lines freezing, which can happen even during warmer weather.

"Warmer temperatures above ground do not reflect the temperature below ground, " a statement from the department says.

Matosich said people need to use caution with the snow now overlaying ice and snow pack on the roads. That is especially true when approaching a crash scene — some of today's wrecks came from people hitting others stopped due to a crash, he said.

"You have to be more cautious and careful coming up on a crash, " he said.

He said the crashes as of 9:30 put the number for January at 61 — much higher than normal.

Record-setting snow

While warm weather has melted off some of the accumulation, the snow has been steadily falling on the region.

Saturday and Sunday saw record snowfall, following a week of none dropping, and added to significant amounts of accumulations.

Saturday's record-setting 3 inches of accumulation and Sunday's 6 inches raised the total for the year to 17.5 inches — more than double the average snow accumulation of 8.6 inches.

The amount since Dec. 1 of nearly 3 feet — 34.7 inches — again more than doubles the norm, 16.2 inches.

The amount that has fallen since July 1 — including the heavy early snow in mid-November, which essentially has covered the ground ever since — is an astounding 53.1 inches.

Continuing moisture

The equivalent precipitation — which does include rainstorms that have fallen since the cold set in in November — also is far above normal.

The National Weather Service reported this morning that Havre had received 1.14 inches of precipitation in January, with the norm at. 46 inches.

That is continuing the trend of the last year. On Dec. 31, the weather service reported Havre had receive 15.89 inches of precipitation for the year, with a normal yearly precipitation of 11.44 inches.

That high level of precipitation continued a move in the state out of nearly a decade of drought. The governor's drought advisory committee officially announced the state was clear of drought last fall.

A temporary reversal

The snow and cold this weekend has reversed a week-long move to spring-like weather.

Saturday, the high for the day was, shortly after midnight, at 29 degrees. By one minute before midnight that night, the temperature had dropped to 2 degrees, followed by the minus 23 degrees Sunday night.

Last week the temperatures ranged from a high of 45 on Thursday, with other high temperatures ranging from 36 degrees on Saturday, Jan. 22, to 41 degrees last Friday and Wednesday, and on Friday, Jan. 21.

That warming trend started nearly two weeks ago, with the last high below freezing a temperature of 11 degrees Wednesday, Jan. 19. That day saw a low of minus 16.

The chinook of the last two weeks included warm nights. Starting last week the lows stayed warm, with temperatures in the upper 20s to mid-30s.

Warming later in week

While bitterly cold temperatures are forecast throughout the state early this week, the weather is expected to return to close to normal toward to the weekend.

The entire state is forecast to have lows below zero, ranging as low as 35 below zero, tonight.

The local forecast calls for a low of minus 37 in Havre tonight.

The forecast calls for mostly clear skies through Thursday, with moderating temperatures and a high in Havre forecast for 31 degrees Thursday. The Havre forecast for Friday calls for temperatures with a high of 36 and a chance of rain and snow in the mountains, and lows dropping into the 20s and a chance of rain and snow Saturday and snow Sunday.

 

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