Bizarre Autumn Snowstorm Blasts Western U.S.

Montana snow in September CROP FOR SOCIAL. KRTV News/YouTube

We're only a few days into autumn and several feet of snow have fallen in the northern Rockies and across western parts of the U.S., including Montana, Washington and Oregon.

In Montana, where some areas received as much as two feet of snow or more, Gov. Steve Bullock declared a winter storm emergency across the state to help municipalities deal with the weather.

"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," the governor's office tweeted.

Over the weekend, Great Falls, Montana, recorded 19.3 inches of snow. That was the second-highest two-day snow total ever for any time of year, according to the National Weather Service. The only storm that ever produced a higher two-day snowfall was April 27-28, 2009, when 24.2 inches were measured.

Also in Montana, the town of Browning, near Glacier National Park, recorded 40 inches of snow on Sunday, reports USA Today.

Sept. 29 was a record-breaking day for some areas of northwest Oregon and southwest Washington, as it became the coldest September day recorded since 1948.

"It's a winter wonderland up in the Cascades," the NWS in Portland tweeted. "Pictures are worth a 1,000 words, but reports are even better!"

Highs and lows

Elsewhere across the West, snow was piling up across parts of California, Idaho, Nevada and Utah. The NWS says the winter storm will continue to produce snow and cause treacherous travel conditions over the northern Rockies through Monday night. Winter storm warnings remain in effect across much of Montana, Idaho and parts of Washington state.

Ironically, as those in the West are cranking up their snowblowers, people in the South, Southeast and mid-Atlantic states are running their air conditioners full-tilt to keep above-normal temps at bay.