Many Western Montanans woke up to a wintery scene Thursday morning.
The official total in Missoula is 1.8 inches for the day; 5.1 inches for the month of March. Lolo residents reported between 2 and 3 inches of snow. March is typically one of the drier months in the Missoula area. The last round of snow continues to push the region above average for precipitation.
We are officially one week into Spring. For meteorologists, Spring is measured a bit differently, from March to April. Any way you slice it, below average temperatures and wet conditions have been the hallmark of the season so far after a cold and wet end to Winter.
Reactions to the early season snow are a mixed bag; although "that's just Montana for you" is a common phrase. Many welcome the snow. In Lolo, Peggy Burke wanted to get started with her Spring gardening but had to change her plans.
"I've lived in Montana now about 13 years,so I'm quite used to all the weather changes. Still, when you get a few sunny days you cross your fingers and hope that things have changed finally."
The state may have to wait a little longer for those changes. The Northern Plains have a good chance for below average temperatures for the rest of the season. Since the Northern Rockies could continue to be sandwiched between cold air and whatever moisture comes out of the Pacific, nuisance snow showers may be with us for a while longer.