Archive for January, 2010

Water running everywhere for 1 more day!

January 29, 2010

Conrad Snow January 29th

The water is running in the streets with highs today well into the 30’s. Our thermometer at KRTV shows 45 but it can run a little high. The news is it is warmer outdoors for another day.

This photo was taken by Shannon Newth while she was covering a story for news in Conrad this morning, so still plenty of snow cover 50 miles of us on I-15!

Another Pacific storm moving eastward will cool us off  Saturday and bring with it a chance of snow Saturday evening and Sunday. Lingering showers on Monday as well.

A side for this Friday. The staff at KRTV, like many other businesses, have a tradition of casual dress on Friday’s. Many wear comfortable jeans. On air since my pants are seen on your television screen I still need to wear suit pants or slacks. Don’t worry though, I get to have my casual day each Friday by wearing tennis shoes which you can’t see on television!

Oh, what color? White socks and white tennis shoes! How about you, do you get to dress casually on Friday? Let me know.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Fred

A day fit for a bicycle ride!

January 28, 2010

We finally picked up some warm southwest winds and it brought out the best in some of us! The temperature was 33 degrees, streets were wet, some adults were running around this afternoon without jackets…and I caught an elderly man our for a trip on his bicycle. Good for him!

It was cold overnight, below zero in fact, but the Chinook winds up to 20 mph at times really pushed the temperature up above freezing quickly. We expect more of the same tomorrow and Saturday.

A little cooler by Sunday and some snow possible. To keep everything in perspective our normal high in Great Falls today is 32 and a low of 12 degrees.

Have a great day!

Fred

We deserve a break in the weather

January 27, 2010

Finally there is a light at the end of the tunnel, at least for a period of time to get our temperatures above freezing and begin the melting process. The amount of snow cover we have in Central Montana makes it that much harder.

I will keep this short, but it was very nice to see the fog lift this morning revealing perfectly blue and clear skies. No wonder we call it Big Sky Country!

The lack of wind has made it very pleasant with the temperature just short of 10 degrees at 1 pm today.

Watch the icy patches walking. I almost ended up on my backside this morning before coming to work. It was my fault though, wrong shoes for this kind of weather!

Fred

Wow! What a snow event.

January 25, 2010

That storm I wrote about Friday really became a reality over the weekend, starting Friday night. Over 13 inches of snowfall in Great Falls over the three day period ending Sunday night. The snow is over and now just cool for a couple of days until it begins warming up.

I am pasting the National Weather Service report on snow totals. I think you will find this information impressive. We needed the moisture but tough on those who are just getting starting on newborn livestock.

Fred

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREAT FALLS MT
225 PM MST MON JAN 25 2010

...SNOWFALL INFORMATION FOR JANUARY 22-24 2009...

THE RECENT WINTER STORM DROPPED SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOWFALL
ACROSS NORTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST MONTANA. THE HIGHER AMOUNTS WERE
IN THE HIGHWOOD...BEARS PAW AND BIG SNOWY MOUNTAINS. AMOUNTS UP TO 3
FEET WERE REPORTED IN THE HIGHWOODS AND BEARS PAWS.

SOME INFORMATION ABOUT THE 2 AND 3 DAY SNOW TOTALS FOR JANUARY ONLY
AT LOCATIONS IN THE AREA...

              2-DAY AMOUNT   RANKING FOR JANUARY ONLY
GREAT FALLS   10.3 INCHES...THIRD GREATEST TWO-DAY AMOUNT
HAVRE          8.5 INCHES...SECOND HIGHEST TWO-DAY AMOUNT
MILLEGAN      16.0 INCHES...FIFTH HIGHEST TWO-DAY AMOUNT
NEIHART       16.0 INCHES...THIRD HIGHEST TWO-DAY AMOUNT

              3-DAY AMOUNT
GREAT FALLS   13.2 INCHES...FOURTH HIGHEST THREE-DAY AMOUNT
HAVRE         10.0 INCHES...SECOND HIGHEST THREE-DAY AMOUNT
MILLEGAN      19.0 INCHES...FOURTH HIGHEST THREE-DAY AMOUNT
NEIHART       17.2 INCHES...FOURTH HIGHEST THREE-DAY AMOUNT 

AT GREAT FALLS...THE SEVEN INCHES REPORTED ON THE 23RD WAS THE SIXTH
SNOWIEST 24-HOUR PERIOD IN JANUARY. THE 20.5 INCHES OF SNOWFALL SO
FAR IN JANUARY IS THE 6TH SNOWIEST JANUARY TO DATE. 

FOR THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF RECORD...FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR...THE 2-DAY
SNOW AMOUNT OF 10.3 INCHES WAS TIED FOR THE 21ST SNOWIEST 2-DAY
TODAY...WHILE THE 13.2 INCHES 3-DAY TOTAL WAS TIED FOR THE 13TH
SNOWIEST 3-DAY TOTAL.

SOME OTHER SNOW TOTALS FROM ACROSS THE AREA...

BEAVERHEAD
DILLON................... 2 INCHES
WISDOM................... 1.5

BLAINE
CHINOOK 11S.............. 6
FORT BELKNAP............. 7
TURNER 11N............... 8

BROADWATER
TIZER BASIN SNOTEL....... 8
TOWNSEND................. 3

CASCADE
BELT 4E..................22
CASCADE 5S...............21
GREAT FALLS..............13.2
NEIHART..................17.2
ULM 13SE.................24
ULM 8SE..................16

CHOUTEAU
FORT BENTON.............. 7.3
HIGHWOOD 11ESE...........36 INCHES
RUDYARD 19S.............. 4

FERGUS
CRYSTAL LAKE SNOTEL......28
GRASS RANGE.............. 4
LEWISTOWN 1ENE...........23
VALENTINE................ 4

GALLATIN
BIG SKY 2WNW............. 8
BLACK BEAR SNOTEL........14
BOZEMAN MSU.............. 2
MADISON PLATEAU SNOTEL...22
WEST YELLOWSTONE......... 7.5

GLACIER
CUT BANK................. 2
DEL BONITA............... 5

HILL
BEARS PAW MTNS...........36
HAVRE....................10.1
ROCKY BOY SNOTEL.........21
SIMPSON 6NW.............. 7

JEFFERSON
BOULDER.................. 5
FROHNER MEADOW SNOTEL.... 8
ROCKER PEAK SNOTEL....... 8
WHITEHALL................ 3

JUDITH BASIN
HOBSON................... 3.5

LEWIS AND CLARK
COPPER CAMP SNOTEL....... 4
HELENA 3E................ 4
HELENA................... 5.1
NEVADA RIDGE SNOTEL...... 5
ROGERS PASS..............10

MADISON
ALBRO LAKE SNOTEL........ 9
CLOVER MEADOW SNOTEL.....12
DIVIDE SNOTEL............ 6
ENNIS.................... 2.5
LONE MOUNTAIN SNOTEL..... 9
LOWER TWIN SNOTEL........ 6
SHORT CREEK SNOTEL....... 5

MEAGHER
BOULDER MOUNTAIN SNOTEL.. 9
ELK PEAK SNOTEL.......... 8
MARTINSDALE.............. 1.1
MILLEGAN 14SE............19
ONION PARK SNOTEL........ 8
PICKFOOT CREEK SNOTEL.... 7
SPUR PARK SNOTEL......... 8
STRINGER CREEK SNOTEL....19
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS.... 4.1

PONDERA
VALIER................... 2

TETON
CHOTEAU.................. 3.7

TOOLE
GOLD BUTTE 7N............11
SHELBY................... 1.5

Major Winter Storm Moving In

January 22, 2010

The streets and highways were finally cleared of most snow and ice earlier this week thanks to some warming southwest winds, that help make our winters shorter and bearable.

We have watched the drenching that California residents endured all week, with several waves of moisture slapping the state with heavy rain and high elevation snow. Computer models showed that about the third round for California would end up pushing our way into Montana. That is exactly what happened!

It started last night with late freezing fog that coated windshields, wires, trees and anything it could find. By late morning snow moved in right on schedule and we have seen snow ever since. Amounts will range from 5 to 9 inches in Great Falls by the end of the weekend to as much as 24 inches in the higher elevations and mountain passes.

The state in most areas is under normal for snow pack so this is good new in that area. Not such good news for those who are beginning calving. Eastern Montana residents will be bear the brunt of the heavy snow and gusty winds. Don’t be surprised if some power outages pop up during the weekend as a result of this strong storm.

I hope you are ready for winter conditions. Travel will be tricky for many so be sure and check the road report and various warnings and advisories on the KRTV website before you venture outdoor.

Enjoy your weekend!

Fred

All good things must come to an end!

January 19, 2010

Our recent warm weather with daytime highs in the upper 40’s and lower 50’s has done its job! Our snow has all melted for the most part and many of the cars and trucks have all been washed and ready for the next round of winter.

The ice at Gibson Park pond is not of any use for ice skaters. Wet and slushy conditions  exist on the pond as we experience the Chinook effect to give us a break from winter. The Circuit Finals Rodeo event in Great Falls this past weekend brought out the crowds with the warm weather.

While California and the west coast are getting nailed with rain and high elevation snow this week, we have enjoyed the comfortable weather. Don’t thing spring is here yet, another change is getting ready to take place.

Friday some of that same moisture from the southwest should move into parts of Montana wrapped around a low moving northeast ward in our direction. Computer models are putting Great Falls kind of at the edge of the snow, but eastern Montana is bracing for 8″ to 10″ of heavy wet snow. Not good news for those who are calving at this time of the year.

Central Montana is expected snowfall as well, but heavier amounts should be confined to the higher elevations. But be prepared for winter conditions.

Anyone traveling by late in the weekend in eastern Montana may find themselves in difficult driving conditions. Gusty winds will cause blowing and drifting as well as limit visibility.

As this storm develops we will keep watching it too. At least it does not include the bitter cold Arctic air like we had in December that pushed temperatures into sub-zero ranges for an extended period of time.

Keep an eye on our website for storm watches and warnings this weekend and stay well!

Fred

Warm temperatures cause ice jams.

January 12, 2010

Use caution while we experience this round of unusually warm weather. It is melting our snow and ice quickly! A look at water from the plowed snow piles in our parking lot Tuesday afternoon!

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GREAT FALLS HAS ISSUED AN

* URBAN AND SMALL STREAM FLOOD ADVISORY FOR ICE JAMS AND SNOW MELT FOR COUNTIES OF NORTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST MONTANA…

* UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

* MILD TEMPERATURES AND SNOW MELT HAVE CREATED FAVORABLE CONDITIONS FOR THE FORMATION OF ICE JAMS ON SOME RIVERS… CREEKS AND STREAMS ACROSS NORTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST MONTANA.

* ON THE TWO MEDICINE RIVER NEAR BROWNING…ELEVATED RIVER LEVELS ARE OCCURRING…LIKELY DUE TO AN ICE JAM AND FROM SNOW MELT RUNNING

OVER RIVER ICE. MINOR FLOODING HAS ALSO BEEN REPORTED ALONG PRICKLY PEAR CREEK NEAR EAST HELENA.

* RIVER ICE IS VERY UNPREDICTABLE…AND MAY MOVE AND JAM WITH LITTLE NOTICE. ANY ICE JAM CAN CAUSE FLOODING…AS THE ICE DAMS THE  RIVER…CAUSING THE RIVER AT OR BEHIND THE DAM TO ELEVATE.

SNOW MELT RUNNING OVER ICE CAN ALSO CONTRIBUTE TO ELEVATED WATER LEVELS. STAY CLEAR OF LOW LYING AREAS NEAR ICE AFFECTED RIVERS AND MONITOR CONDITIONS CLOSELY.

Grateful for the Chinook melting!

January 10, 2010

The wind has been up to as high as 35 mph, but with the sunshine this Sunday afternoon the snow and ice is disappearing quickly. The viewers in Helena are not so lucky. Another inversion has kept the air unhealthy and temperatures in the teens, while we enjoy the 40’s. See the difference early afternoon between Great Falls below and Helena below.

Sunny and melting in Great FallsSuntalker Outside KRTV

Hazy and CoolDEQ Camera View of Sleeping Giant

We can be thankful for highs to stay in the 40’s in the Great Falls area, hopefully long enough to clear ALL the streets!

Have a good afternoon!

Fred

“Snow Eater” at Work

January 8, 2010

After a long, cold spell in December, including an ice storm we have been waiting for this! Chinook winds, a native American word meaning “snow eater.”

The chinook wind is a warm, dry wind that descends the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. The chinook zone is not very wide so you need to be fairly close to the Rockies to get the warm gusty winds.

We are not the only area that see chinook winds. The narrow path begins in northeastern New Mexico northward into Canada.

With a strong chinook as much as a foot of snow can melt in one day. It has many advantages, including clearing our streets of ice and snow. It also uncovers prairie grass so livestock can graze on the open range.  The winds also help keep railroad tracks clear of snow in the winter.

It is not unusual for the strong winds, day after day, to make people feel irritable and depressed while others can become ill. The exact reason for this is not clearly understood.

In the long run it does give us a break in our winter pattern that other areas never get to experience!

Fred

A Wierd, but not unusual Montana night!

January 7, 2010

The cold air from the north continued its grip on Montana overnight. Your location would have a lot to do with the temperature.  Last evening at the airport where official records are all kept, it plunged from 1 above to -8 in an hour. Then by ten o’clock it was back up to near zero again!

Our snow cover, clear skies and lack of wind kept it cold most of the night and we had reports from zero to -30 overnight, depending upon where you lived. Leaving the station after the broadcast last night my car showed zero in the parking lot. When I drove down the Old Havre Highway and turned the corner it registered -8 and stayed there all the way home.

At my house this morning it showed -20 and the furnace was getting a workout. We had many calls of -30 in the outlying areas. Cold air trapped at the surface. Clear and cold but sunshine today and relief is on the way! We expect southwest winds by 5 am which will increase the temperature. We see highs in the mid 30’s by Friday!

Here’s a look outside the front door early this afternoon. Sunny, lots of snow and the television towers in the background.

Enjoy your day!

Fred