The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Georgie Kulczyk
The Courier 

It's Snow Joke

Weather Event Shuts Down NE Montana


Michelle Frank

The 13.0 inches of snow that wreaked havoc in the area provided a welcome snow day for the children.

Three days ago, the National Weather Service in Glasgow began warning northeast Montana residents: expect a winter storm that will bring heavy and blowing snow. In the days following, the warning was updated and enhanced multiple times, but the NWS never wavered when predicting the severity of the event. Residents were told to expect up to 12 inches of snowfall in some areas, and strong winds that could create blowing and drifting snow.

As of Sunday afternoon, the forecast was proving to be accurate. Snow began falling in Glasgow early afternoon, and the NWS estimated seven inches had fallen by 5 p.m. Social media began to be an indicator of the severity of the storm, with many people requesting updates on road conditions and sharing photos of poor driving conditions.

Schools in Valley and neighboring counties began canceling Monday classes with Nashua, Hinsdale, Saco, Frazer and Opheim among the first to make the decision. The Glasgow School District opted to remain open, but did cancel busses for the day. Several local businesses were also declaring a snow day.

Eventually, GHS administration announced that school would not be in session due to the inclement weather. When contacted by The Glasgow Courier about the history of school closures in Glasgow, Superintendent Bob Connors remarked, "We can't come up with a time school was ever cancelled."

After a night of watching the snow fall and listening to the wind blow, on the morning of March 5 area residents woke the to the news that a record 13.0 inches of snow had fallen in Glasgow the previous day. It was the second snowiest day on record and the snowiest day in Glasgow in 78 years.

Later in the morning, the NWS reported 12 inches of new snow in Opheim and near Jordan, 13.8 inches in Glasgow, 15 inches in Zortman, and 20 inches in Saco.

Throughout the day, the NWS continued to report on the storm, including updates about road conditions and possible impact on newborn livestock. By noon, the total snow fall total for the storm was measured at 14.7 inches.

In addition to severe driving conditions across the eastern third of the state, road closures were reported south of Malta and near Circle. Conditions worsened into the evening, with road closures reported near Baker and emergency travel only recommended for most of the region. Driving conditions worsened into the evening along the Montana/North Dakota border as the storm moved east from Glasgow.

As of press time the NWS was reporting the winter storm to be winding down, but still cautioned about hazardous road conditions across the region.


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