Late-October Blizzard Unfolds in Northern RockiesThe storm could slash temperatures in some areas by 20 to 40 degrees
(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
An all-out blizzard is unfolding across the northern Rockies, creating a travel nightmare.
The storm will ride a push of cold air moving out of Canada, which could slash temperatures by 20 to 40 degrees from one day to the next.
Heavy snow that fell in Alberta on Sunday is spreading southward across the northern Rockies with a bit of the snow grazing the western Dakotas.
A band of nuisance snow and wintry mix will streak across more of the northern Plains through Tuesday.
The snow, accompanied by gusty winds, dropping through the northern Rockies will be heavy enough to cause dangerous travel.
As temperatures plunge with the snow, roads can become slippery in a hurry with blowing and drifting snow causing poor visibility.
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The worst conditions will unfold in the higher terrain of western Montana and northwestern Wyoming, where an all-out blizzard will evolve and cause travel to become nearly impossible for a time.
As of 3 p.m. MDT, Monday evening, Jefferson County, Mont., received a total of 11.8 inches of snow, according to an NWS spotter.
Idaho received a total of 5.1 inches of snow near Gilmore on Monday evening, according to the Department of Highways.
Those driving along portions of I-15, I-25, I-80 and I-90 across Montana and Wyoming should prepare for treacherous travel and lengthy delays through Monday. Officials could be forced to close stretches of these interstates.
Several car crashes were already reported Monday morning in Butte, Mont., due to wintry conditions.
Freezing rain near Cheyenne, Wyo., on Monday afternoon, also reportedly caused wet road conditions, according to an NWS employee.
Cities that could be hit with some snow from the storm include Cut Banks and Billings, Mont.; Casper, Wyo.; and Rapid City, S.D. The day before the storm temperatures will be in the 60s and 70s, but the day of the snow temperatures may struggle to rise higher than the 30s with RealFeel® temperatures in the teens and lower 20s.
The same storm will also be responsible for kicking up strong winds across the Desert Southwest, returning snow to the highest elevations of California, Utah and Colorado and sparking strong thunderstorms over the southern and central Plains Texas through Tuesday.
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