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Too soon? ‘Historic’ storm could dump up to 4 feet of snow in West this weekend


Just days after fall officially began, the northern Rocky Mountains could face a record-breaking September snowstorm.

A winter storm warning has been issued for the western half of Montana and parts of Idaho as a “seasonally-historic” blizzard moves into the region with possible blizzard conditions, damaging winds and up to 4 feet of snow on some high-altitude areas, according to the National Weather Service.

The agency called it a “significant, very early-season” storm that could cause “a host of potentially dangerous” conditions from Friday night through Sunday.

New Weather Graphic Issued: Snowfall Forecast. More info at #mtwx

The storm is forecast to break September snowfall records and even calendar-day cold records in some locations.

The weather service has “very high confidence” that much of the region would see at least a foot of snow over the weekend, local lead meteorologist Paul Nutter said in a Facebook video briefing Friday afternoon. Some mountain passes in Montana, meanwhile, could see up to 48 inches of snow.

Wind speeds are forecast to reach as much as 60 mph at times during the storm. Area residents will also face power outages, rough road conditions, low visibility and downed trees, according to the weather service.

Even after the storm moves away, the region could see unusually cold temperatures for several days before, Nutter said.