GREAT FALLS — The powerful winter storm arrived in Montana late Friday and continued dumping snow on Saturday, bringing with it the potential for record-setting September snow totals.
A winter storm warning is in effect until Monday morning for portions of north central Montana, the National Weather Service said.
Snow in September is not uncommon for the area; Great Falls typically sees its first snow of the season in late September. What's unusual with this storm is the amount of snow.
CNN meteorologist Ivan Cabrera noted: "If the forecast pans out, this would rival or surpass the 1934 winter storm which was for many areas the top early-season snowfall event on record."
"This has the potential to be a historically significant early-season snow event," the National Weather Service in Great Falls said.
At higher elevations and along parts of the Rocky Mountain Front, some areas have already received more than two feet of snow. At lower elevations, including Great Falls, snow totals are expected to range anywhere from six inches to 12 inches; as of about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, snow totals in Great Falls range from six to eight inches.
And it's not over yet - heavy snow is expected to continue falling, with the heaviest bands setting up Saturday night through most of Sunday.
Winds will remain gusty as well on Saturday and Sunday, ranging from 25 miles per hour to 50 miles per hour. There will also be blowing snow in some areas, which will significantly reduce visibility.
Snow is expected to be wet and heavy, which will continue to bring down trees and power lines resulting in possible power outages.