Record-setting snow season

7.1 feet in Columbus and counting
Marlo Pronovost
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Photo by Scott Waltner

Columbus photographer Scott Waltner captured this stunning photograph of the Crazy Mountain last Friday while flying the area with local pilot Brandon Garoutte.

March didn’t come in like a lion.

It came in like an angry wolverine with a migraine.

The powerful storm that swept the area starting early Sunday left 13.5 inches of new snowfall in Rapelje by the early morning hours of Monday, March

5. Molt got a foot of new snow from the storm while Columbus received 10 inches, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Absarokee’s official snowfall total for that short time period was 6.5 inches, with Park City coming in at 8 inches.

On Sunday, heavy snow, wind, poor visibility and slick roads led to at least 30 crashes in Stillwater County by 7:27 p.m. The first crash was reported at 8:37 a.m. The majority of these took place on I-90 and many involved semi trucks, with MHP troopers, deputies, Columbus Fire Rescue, tow trucks and other emergency crews working the scenes in hazardous conditions. The chaos on the roads gave emergency crews an opportunity to use the newly purchased portable warning message board, that is mounted to a CFR vehicle and designed to give oncoming motorist an additional visual warning of a crash ahead. The sign was used multiple times on Sunday.


For Columbus, the new snowfall pushed the year-to-date snowfall to 85.3 inches — more than 7 feet. That makes this 2017-2018 winter the snowiest year on record, said NWS Meteorologist Tom Frieders.

The previous snowiest winter on record came in 2013-2014, when there was 76.4 inches.


February’s snowfall total was 28.3 inches, ranking it second only behind February 2014.

Three records were broken during February:

•Feb. 20: 27 degrees below zero (previous record was 13 degrees below in 1949)

•Feb. 21: 25 degrees below zero (previous record was 13 below in 1936)

•Feb. 22: 13 degrees below zero (previous record was 12 below in 1936)