Snow continues to pile up across Montana, with blizzard conditions forecast to continue from Hill County to the North Dakota border through Saturday.
Some schools across the area, including Havre Public Schools and Montana State University-Northern, closed for the day today due to the effect of the storm, named “Brutus, ” but the Montana Department of Transportation reports roads are snow-packed with low visibility, but none had been closed as of this morning.
“We’ve got all our trucks out, ” said Sam Wurz, MDT Havre area maintenance superintendent. “(The roads) are blowing and drifting snow with poor visibility, but no closures as yet.
“We’ll be out all day and tonight, ” he added. “We’ve got a night shift coming on and pretty much all our resources will be out. ”
The Havre Public Works Department reported its crews are out sanding and clearing roads in Havre.
Jerry Otto, supervisor of the Hill County Road and Bridge Department, said the crews from his department also are out working on county roads.
Crews are working on sanding roads on the normal winter schedule, and plows are mounted and ready to use, he said.
“We’re ready for winter, ” Otto said.
Some activities have been shut down — the Cut Bank speech, debate and drama tournament the Havre High School team was planning to head to Saturday has been canceled — but others continue.
Big Sandy High School reported its football semifinal game against Valier High School set for Saturday still is on, and as of the news deadline this morning, all Montana State University-Northern games, all out of town, still were a go.
Snow is blanketing the entire state, with the blizzard warning in effect for Glacier County south to northern Lewis and Clark County, across through Fergus County, and from Hill County across to the North Dakota border in Sheridan, Roosevelt and Richland counties.
Most of the rest of the state — including Liberty and Teton counties — this morning is under a winter storm warning, with parts of the state west of the divide and around Billings in a winter storm watch.
The blizzard warnings generally are in effect through Saturday morning.
Weather Service did not have data on the amount of snow that had fallen as of this morning.
Weather Channel estimates almost 4 inches of snow in Havre as of this morning, with nearly 3 inches in Browning, 4.5 inches in Big Sandy and Box Elder, almost 5 inches in Chinook, 6 inches in Harlem, 7.6 inches in Turner and 7.1 inches in Hays.
Farther south, even more snow had fallen in some areas, with Weather Channel reporting Great Falls received 9.2 inches and Lewistown receiving 7.2 inches.
The eastern part of the blizzard warning had not seen as much snow as of this morning, with Weather Channel reporting Sidney receiving. 5 inches and Culbertson 2.2 inches.
The forecast continues to call for the snow to taper off by Saturday afternoon and evening, with a bitter drop in temperatures — Weather Channel forecasts a low of 4-below-zero in Havre Saturday night, with Weather Service predicting a low of 8-below and AccuWeather.com forecasting minus 9.
Temperatures are expected to rise again next week, with Weather Service forecasting a high of 17 Sunday with a low of 2 degrees that night, then highs creeping into the 30s next week.
Weather Channel has a similar forecast, predicting highs in the 40s by next Friday, while AccuWeather predicts a high of 36 Friday but a more autumn-like 51 and 52 for a week from Saturday and Sunday.