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Be careful out there as winter chill set to continue

Alastair Baker
News Editor
Thursday, February 28, 2019
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Photo by Alastair Baker
Under a bright sky the wintry conditions look attractive but treacherous road conditions still exist as attested to 53 crashes and 20 slide-offs reported around Billings, Red Lodge and Hardin this week.

As winter tightens its grip on Carbon County both the Sheriff Josh McQuillan and Commissioner Bill Bullock warned drivers to take precautions while traveling and to make sure you’re ready for these conditions. 

Their advice included having a communication device, a survival kit, candy, candles, sand, shovels, coats and boots, and to stay with your car should you slide off. 

Also make sure your car has plenty of gas before you travel. 

“These are seriously cold conditions,” said Bullock. 

Bullock also stressed a further issue concerning light conditions with the volume of snow.

“We have flat light conditions so people can’t really see. They can’t get any perspective. They must adjust their driving to the conditions at hand and use a little bit of extra caution. They can’t see the difference in the terrain to see where a snow berm may be because of the flat grey appearance right now,” he said. 

Montana experienced a record-breaking number of crashes and slide-offs in a 24-hour timeframe earlier this week with 314 incidents reported according to the Montana Highway Patrol and of these three involved snowplows and cars. 

According to Ray Masters, Carbon County Weather Co-operative, as of this moment, the coldest February was 1936 “but when Thursday's figures roll in we will know.”  

In 1936 the mean temperature was 5.4, and the average mean is 24.1.  In that month there were below zero temps of 37, 28, 30, and 34.  The lowest temperature recorded here was -42 in 1989.  Snowfall this February so far is 22.5 inches while the average is 13.9 inches.

Weather reports show that the snow and minus temperatures are set to resume Thursday and Friday after a brief respite on Wednesday.  Minus temperatures will carry through till Sunday.  


The Carbon County News

Street Address:

11 N. Broadway, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 970, Red Lodge, MT 59068

Phone: 406-446-2222

Fax: 406-446-2225

Toll-Free: 800-735-8843

Open: Monday-Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.