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Winter tightens grip as snow and temperatures falls

Wes Prouse of Shepherd photographed a thermometer at his home this week. ‘This is for everyone bragging about your wind chill,’ he posted with the photo. ‘This is real temperatures.’ (Courtesy Photo)

HUNTLEY — The temperature keeps falling, and so does the snow.
Mix in some wind and it all adds up to a tough winter — closing schools, closing highways and making it tough for ranchers, livestock, wildlife and anyone who has to shovel.
By this week, February saw more snow than any year before.
By Feb. 18, 31.5 inches of snow had fallen at Logan International Airport in Billings. Meteorologist Aaron Gilstad at the National Weather Service office in Billings said that’s the most through that date, and the record for the entire month of February is 37 inches, recorded in 2014.
“So we’re on pace to surpass that fairly easily,” Gilstad said, if the current weather pattern continues through the end of the month.
That pattern is an upper level Pacific jet stream “impacted by a polar jet as well,” Gilstad said. “They ran into each other right over the top of us,” wringing out moisture combined with cold to dump snow across the region.
There’s a respite from the snow this week, he said, although cold will linger through the weekend.
“All this week we’re expecting it to be fairly dry and fairly cold,” he said.
Since October, he said, 76 inches of snow have fallen at the Billings airport. The previous record for that time period was 72.3 inches and the snowfall record through the end of February is 90.2 inches, recorded from October 2013 through February 2014.
“We’re well ahead of schedule,” Gilstad said, about 11 inches ahead of 2013.
Tuesday’s forecast called for bitter read more

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