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Snowfall in September

Robin Collins, left, and Amy Fry walk their dogs in the snow at High Sierra Park as more snow continues to fall on Sunday.

Snow arrived in Billings about 8 a.m. Sunday, coating lawns and vehicles, causing at least one large power outage, as well as arcing power lines.

Meterologist Kurt Hooley with the Billings office of the National Weather Service said the area will continue to see a mixture of rain and snow. But the wet weather should taper off as the day goes on.

The system, which tracked south to north, moved into the north central and northeast part of the state later in the day.

By Sunday evening, precipitation at the NWS office in Billings West End totaled .6 inches of snow and .34 inches overall, while the airport saw 1.5 inches of snow precipitation and .32 inches overall.

"Snow is not unusual for this time of year, especially October, which is tomorrow," Hooley said.

Temperatures this past week have been cooler than normal, which typically are in the mid-60s this time of year. That will continue for some of this coming week.

There's a chance of showers continuing tonight, Hooley said, some rain mixed with snow, with temperatures in the low 30s. Skies will be sunny on Monday in the Billings area, with temperatures expected to be in the mid-60s.

Clouds will again move into the area on Tuesday, with a chance of rain showers and highs around 70. Temperatures are expected to return back to the mid-50s from Wednesday through Saturday.

The snow Sunday morning caused at least one "pretty good sized outage" in Lockwood, said Butch Larcombe, spokesman for NorthWestern Energy. More than 500 people in the Johnson Lane area were affected by the outage, which was mostly rectified by 11:30 a.m.

Other, smaller outages were reported in the area, Larcombe said.

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The Billings Fire Department was also kept busy Sunday morning.

"The majority have been arcing power lines in trees," said Battalion Chief Ed Regele. "I think it's a combination of some of the trees starting to collect snow and branches sagging into the power lines, apparently rubbing through the insulation."

That caused some of the trees to catch on fire. 

"We've got at least two to three crews out and about," Regele said just after 11:30. "It's been going on all morning." 

For the most part, the snow melted off the roads. But at least a couple of crashes were attributed to the weather.

Trooper Toni Snelling of the Montana Highway Patrol was dispatched to two crashes an hour apart on I-94, just after 10 and 11 a.m. One crash was westbound at mile marker 17 and the other, eastbound at mile marker 16.

Neither wreck caused injuries, she said. But in both cases, Snelling attributed the cause to "first snow and driving too fast for conditions."

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