By Stacey Leasca
September 30, 2019
Matt Volz/AP/Shutterstock

A snowstorm of historic proportions slammed several western states over the weekend just in time for the start of fall.

According to The Weather Channel, up to four feet of snow fell in Montana over the weekend, causing school closures in at least eight school districts across the state. The storm also created hazardous road conditions for travelers attempting to cross through the state and large parts of the Rockies.

"With an unprecedented winter storm throwing our state a surprise in September, state and local governments are working closely together to protect the health and safety of Montanans and our top priority is making sure that happens,” Montana's Gov. Steve Bullock said in a press release. “Montanans should heed all warnings from state and local officials, travel safely, and be cautious during this time.”

Beyond Montana, snow also fell across parts of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and California, according to the National Weather Service. As the service noted, the storm also dropped temperatures in some areas to as much as 30 degrees below normal. And those record lows aren’t stopping yet.

"Many daily record low maximum temperature records are possible through Monday, especially across the Northern Great Basin, Rockies and Northern California," the weather service explained.

And, as USA Today reported, the snow may not have stopped at four feet in some areas.

“You have higher terrain where you will never know how much snow fell because there is no one there to measure it," AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dan Pydynowski told USA Today. "There will be areas over 4 feet, measured or not."

Pydynowski explained, while snowfall isn’t abnormal in some western regions of the United States this time of year, the cumulation amounts in lower elevations most certainly is. He pointed to places like Great Falls, Montana, which averages 1.2 inches of snow in September. However, by Sunday, Great Falls had already calculated some 16 inches of snowfall for the season and counting.

The one group of people who may be thrilled with this weather system is skiers. Though ski resorts may not be able to open just yet, it could be a good sign that this season will be one of the most epic yet. So, start planning your ski vacations now to ensure your place in the lift ticket lines.

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