GREAT FALLS, Mont. - Great Falls typically sees about 60 inches of snowfall in the city during an entire snowy season, but 2019 is on track to be a year of shattered records — the city has seen more than 31 inches already, breaking a 35-year-old record, according to the National Weather Service’s Great Falls office.
National Weather Service meteorologist Christian Cassel recorded more than 10 inches of snow drifts in the parking lot of the NWS Great Falls office Monday, writing that it is “very difficult to impossible to navigate through.”
July 1 is effectively considered the official beginning of the snow year, and the 31.6 inches that were recorded in Great Falls from July 1 to Oct. 26 is the most snow Great Falls has seen in this time frame since 1984’s previous record of 18.1 inches.
"And we're not even to the end of October," Cassell told the Great Falls Tribune. "It should be pretty obvious if we continue on this pace we're definitely going to set a record for seasonal snowfall. I'm not predicting that, but if we continue on this pace we'll set the record."
Now the area is being rocked by frigid temperatures due to an Arctic cold front passing over the state Monday night, which is expected to continue until Wednesday morning.
The temperatures associated with the cold front may also break records — NWS Great Falls posted to its Facebook page warning that minimum temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday were predicted in the single digits above/below zero.
“These temperatures are 30+ degrees below seasonal averages and may be near record values for late October,” NWS Great Falls warned.
NWS Great Falls is reminding people to brush up on winter driving best practices before heading out into the record-breaking conditions.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.