Friday, September 28, 2007

Winter's First Intimations

From the National Weather Service in Great Falls, MT: "Heavy snow warning in effect from midnight tonight to 6 pm Saturday above 6000 feet. Snow advisory in effect below 6000 feet. Expect snow accumulations of up to 2 inches below 5000 feet, 2-6 inches between 5000 and 7000 feet, and 6-12 inches above 7000 feet. A cold and moist Pacific weather system will move through western Montana Saturday morning. Ahead of this system, precipitation will begin after midnight with snow levels between 8000 and 9000 feet. Snow levels will drop to the valley floors by morning. Snow will end Saturday evening. Severe winter weather conditions are expected above 6000 feet. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergrency. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency."

We are just above 5000 feet, so with luck, we will see snow tomorrow morning. On the other hand, these warnings this time of year frequently end in cold rain, so I'm not getting my hopes up. The warnings about driving seem a little silly - "significant amounts of snow" means two to six feet here, not two to six inches. But even Montanans forget how to drive in snow after a long summer, and the first snow always results in a ridiculous number of fender-benders in town, so maybe the warning isn't too extreme.

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