From Kalispell north to Glacier Park and throughout northwest Montana, the National Weather Service is predicting a monster snowfall event that could bring an extra two to three feet to the area.
Meteorologist Trent Smith presented a YouTube video that dramatically illustrates the severity of the storm, and its possible impacts on travel and even on homes and businesses throughout northwest Montana.
“Starting Sunday morning and ending Tuesday morning, this is just a phenomenal amount of snow,” Smith said. “Kalispell alone is looking at about 24 to 30 inches of snow, Marias Pass, 36 to 50 inches, and Eureka 24 to 30 inches.”
Smith said commuting in the area will be profoundly affected by the storm.
“Travel is going to be extremely impacted,” he continued. “From Sunday night into Monday morning as that arctic air makes its way into the area, it’s going to cause gusty easterly winds that could cause local blizzard conditions. We’re going to get blowing and drifting snow around Columbia Falls up to Essex. Again, this is a phenomenal event because we’re talking about feet of snow across northwest Montana. Let me reiterate that this is a huge, huge system that’s going to occur.”
Smith said travel could be next to impossible in some areas.
“There’s going to be times when snowplows are not going to be able to keep up with the snowfall,” he said. “Then, we’re going to add blowing and drifting snow from Kalispell up to Marias Pass which will cause huge drifts.The high amount of snow could lead to roof damage and maybe even roof avalanches and there could be near zero visibility at times. This is potentially two or even three additional feet of snow, on top of the 14 inches they’ve already just received in the last 24 hours.”
Anyone with questions about the incoming storm and its possible effects on northwest Montana is asked to contact the National Weather Service Office in Missoula at 329-4840.
Forecasters say Missoula will receive only about two to three additional inches of snow from the storm.