Subscribe for 17¢ / day
Snow is piled against the trees

Snow is piled against the trees along the sidewalk on North 24th street as a crew blows snow in the neighborhood on February 19. Billings is forecasted to break its all-time single season snowfall record with another dump of snow Thursday evening.

As much snow as Billings has gotten this winter, it took frigid wind chill predictions to cancel school. Billings Public Schools will not have school on Tuesday because of expected cold weather. 

Jeff Cooley clears his sidewalk

Jeff Cooley clears his sidewalk on North 25th Street as the snow piles up Monday, February 19, 2018.

Superintendent Terry Bouck cited wind chill forecasts down to -40 degrees in calling off school. 

"It's really the temperature," he said. "We have 95 buses that deliver a whole lot of our kids."

The National Weather Service is predicting that wind chill values will be as low as -30 in Billings on Tuesday morning with wind speeds picking up. 

Billings' snowfall is on a record-breaking pace this year, but Bouck said road conditions weren't a big factor in canceling school. 

"We were confident that the buses could get around; we were confident that people could get around," he said. 

A decision about Wednesday classes will be made Tuesday morning, and the district aims to inform parents and teachers as soon as possible, he said.

Snowplow crews form a berm

Snowplow crews form a berm down Poly Drive after the latest snowfall Monday, February 19, 2018.

Temperatures are supposed to increase into the teens on Wednesday, but breezy winds are expected to remain. 

Lockwood, Canyon Creek, Elysian, Pioneer, Independent and Blue Creek, all K-8 districts, are also canceling school. Shepherd and Huntley Project schools also canceled for Tuesday.  

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Yellowstone County are closing their clubhouses and the Yellowstone West Preschool in Laurel will be closed. 

Laurel is planning on having school, according to Superintendent Linda Filpula.  

This will be the third year in a row Billings has called off school because of weather after going more than 25 years without a snow day. 

Cold weather

Snow piling up

If February has seemed particularly backbreaking, it's because Billings hasn't seen this much snow by the 18th of the month — ever.

As of Sunday night, at least 31.5 inches of snow has fallen during the month. That's a few inches short of the February record of 37 inches, and we still have 10 days left in the month.

That record February wasn't ancient history, either. It was 2014.

That February recorded 2.06 inches of moisture. By last Sunday, this month was at 1.59 inches, according to the National Weather Service. The normal amount for the month is 0.29 inches.

For the snow year so far, measured from July 1, snowfall stands at 76 inches, which is about 44 inches above normal.

The 2017-2018 snow season is still behind the winter of 2013-2014 that got 103.5 inches, the highest season on record.

Gazette reporter Sam Wilson contributed to this story.



Education Reporter

Education reporter for the Billings Gazette.