Stacking it deep
The weather guys called the shot and once again, they proved to be right on the money, as a storm system brought more than a foot of new snow to parts of Stillwater County between Saturday and this past Tuesday.
The Fishtail area was hit with 13.5 inches of snow between Saturday and Tuesday. Molt got 11 inches of new snow, while the Columbus area saw 10.4 inches and Absarokee recorded approximately 9.3 inches, according to preliminary storm totals from the National Weather Service (NWS).
And it’s not over yet.
A winter storm watch was issued by the NWS at 4:53 a.m. Wednesday morning, as a surge of cold air was expected across the region, bringing possible light freezing rain Wednesday night. Heavy snow is forecast for late Thursday afternoon and evening.
New accumulations of four to six inches are possible in Stillwater County. Difficult travel conditions due to “significant reductions in visibility” were also potentially expected.
The mercury will also take a dive, with a high of 38 degrees Thursday, falling to just 9 degrees Friday and rebounding slightly to 18 Saturday. A wind chill of 10 degrees below zero is forecast for Thursday night, followed by a low of 3 below Friday and 6 degrees Saturday, according to the NWS.
The following snow totals represent new snowfall from 12 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, according to the NWS.
The numbers and compass directions listed in parentheses behind each location is the distance from each locations center, according to estimated SNOTEL site reports:
Fishtail (18.1 miles SW) 13.5 inches
Molt (5.7 miles SSW) 11.0 inches
Columbus (7.2 miles E) 10.4 inches
Columbus (7.5 miles E) 8.7 inches
Columbus (.9 miles NW) 6.4 inches
Absarokee (7 miles S) 9.3 inches
Park City (6 miles WSW) 8.5 inches
Rapelje 8.5 inches
Reed Point (5 miles SE) 5.5 inches
BOOMING SNOWFALL EARLY ON
Big snow is a theme so far for the county. As of Feb. 6, Columbus alone had 55.9 inches of snowfall so far this winter. That is more than double the normal amount of 23.6 inches at this point in the winter. (Year-to-date snowfall is calculated from July 1 to June 30.)
Mystic Lake has received 196.2 inches of snow so far this winter, which is more than double the normal amount for this time of year.
Rapelje’s year-to-date snowfall total of 69 inches is also more than double the normal amount, according to the NWS.