Will Billings set a record for snowiest winter Sunday?

2014-03-23T14:23:00Z 2014-03-24T08:10:07Z Will Billings set a record for snowiest winter Sunday?By CHRIS CIOFFI ccioffi@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Billings residents might wake up Monday as survivors of the snowiest winter in the city since 1934, when snowfall record-keeping began.

A Canadian disturbance moving through the upper part of the atmosphere has the potential to drop several inches of snow on Billings, said Julie Arthur, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Billings.

“We’re looking at about an inch into the evening and another inch tonight, and that’s about what we need to at least tie the record,” she said.

Through March 22, 96.8 inches has fallen on Billings this year, Arthur said. The snowiest winter of all time had 98.7 inches, set in the winter of 1996-97.

The NWS has issued a hazardous weather outlook, warning that cold temperatures and precipitation could cause roads to become slick and icy. Visibility could be diminished as heavy bands of snow pass through the area.

As snow piles up Sunday night, low temperatures may fall to 17 degrees.

If the record is not set before daybreak, residents shouldn’t fret, Arthur said. “We have just about another inch in there for Monday.”

Monday will be cloudy as the high stays below freezing at 28, before snow tapers off by nightfall.

Lows on Monday will hit about 16 degrees.

Highs could reach 43 on Tuesday, and Wednesday’s high should be in the 40s again, but cold temperatures and precipitation will be back in the forecast by the end of the week.

“We have another possibility for another shot of snow Wednesday night or Thursday,” Arthur said. “It just never ends.”

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