Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Tim Leeds 

Cold, snow continues, wrestling trip moved up


February 7, 2018

Snow keeps falling on the Hi-Line, and it looks like more is on the way, a National Weather Service meteorologist said today.

“We’ve decided that nature has picked your town to beat up on this year,” Matt Jackson of National Weather Service in Great Falls said. “You guys have been hammered all year long.”

With heavy snowfall over the weekend — including a new record for Saturday’s date at 3.5 inches — the total in Havre for the snow year, starting July 1, is 59.5 inches to date, 33.6 inches more than the norm of 23.2 inches.

The record on this date is 66.2 inches, set in 1970.

With more snow — close to 10 inches — expected to fall from tonight through Friday night, the record for July 1 through Feb. 9 could be broken by then, although nothing is guaranteed.

Weather Service has a winter storm and travel warning in effect through Friday, which is impacting travel for one Havre High School team, although the hopes of officials are other travel will go as planned.

Havre High School Activities Director Dennis Murphy said the pep assembly planned for about 2:20 this afternoon has been pushed back to 1:45 p.m. to let the wrestling team head for the state tournament in Billings ahead of the weather.

He said the hope is other trips — swimming to the state tournament in Great Falls, basketball in Browning and speech and debate in Helena — go as planned.

“I am concerned, but I have confidence,” he said.

The wrestling trip could go any of three routes, through Harlem and across the Upper Missouri River Breaks, through Judith Gap or the long way through Helena and along the interstate, but all routes raise weather concerns, he said.

National Weather Service warned that steady snow will develop over north-central Montana late today and then gradually move southward and overspread central and southwest Montana during the day Thursday, with the potential for periods of heavy snow at times at all elevations with this event. People with travel plans, planned recreation and people with livestock should plan for problems with snow later in the week, it said.

The winter storm watch is in effect for the Havre area from 6 p.m. today through late Thursday night.

In the Rockies the watch extends to Friday afternoon or evening.

Jackson said the temperature and snow is colder and heavier than normal but still not unusual. A cold air front has set in, keeping the Hi-Line cold and snowy, but not with unusually extreme severe weather for north-central Montana for this time of year.  

The snow is expected to taper off in this part of the state Friday, with colder-than-normal temperatures over the weekend and a chance of snow — 20 percent to 30 percent — early next week, he said. He added that the temperature is not expected to rise above freezing until possibly the end of next week, and that is a long way out to predict the weather.

Until then, it is likely to stay cold, he said.

“There is not really anything unusual going on,” Jackson said. “Every year there seems to be a period in the winter where we have an arctic front stall in central Montana.”

He added that the kicker is that the cold, snowy weather seems to be focusing on this part of the Golden Triangle this year.

“Every time we get a storm it seems to want to hit the Hi-Line,” Jackson said.


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