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Snow drifts near Whitaker Road in Missoula. Photo by Emily Haas

Storm Hits Montana, Forcing School, Road Closures

A thick blanket of snow welcomed most of Montana this morning and the storm moving through is forcing school closures in the Flathead Valley, keeping at least a stretch of Interstate 15 closed near the Idaho border and promising a balmy high of 9 degrees below zero in the Great Falls area.

Montana Public Radio is reporting this morning that all schools in Flathead County, including Flathead Valley Community College, are calling it a snow day and closing school. The National Weather Service is predicting 3-5 inches of snow throughout the day and the valley, from the border to the Mission Valley is under a blizzard warning.

NWS forecasts call for 1-3 inches in the Missoula region, which is under a snow advisory, but the fun really gets started in Central Montana, where the high is predicted at -9 degrees with a wind chill between -17 and -22.

Update: Parts of Highway 12 and Highway 287 near Townsend that were closed early Monday have been reopened, as is the stretch of I-15 near Monida Pass. The only road remaining closed is 191 south of Eddie’s Corner to Harlow. closed as well. See below for the link to the DOT’s updated map.)

Click here for a map of road conditions in Montana and here for the NWS forecasts for today and through the week.

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  1. Tonight the forecast looks extremely brutal as temps from the foothills across the Hi-Line are expected to dip close to -40F. Windchills will be much lower.

  2. When the weather forecasters predict a “100% chance of snow,” it’s not really a chance anymore, is it? I’m just saying.

  3. Bob, think of it as an opportunity for Toby to do a snow angel.

  4. About time we got a real snowfall around here. Yesterday it was toasty warm and I was able to shovel out some things, just in time to have it all freeze rock hard again and get powdered.
    I bet Big Mountain is a scratchy SOB today, totally bombproof with frozen tracks ready to kill you on every turn. Ick.

  5. We never had snow days, 20 below, 3 feet of snow, we still went to school. I think Northwest Montana is becoming use to global warming. In the 80’s we had REAL winter every year, this is nothing. Snow Day because of a few inches… crazy…

  6. In addition to Courtney’s excellent links I find the RWIS site helpful:

  7. Yesssss!
    The roads are the SLIMIEST they’ve been in years. The plows are WAY behind, drifts all over, visibility zip….now we’ll see who’s a real Montanan and who ain’t.