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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.

Hovering just 0.4 inches away from tying the all-time seasonal snowfall accumulation record, Billings could get another 9 inches of snow beginning Thursday afternoon and continuing into the day Friday. 

"It does look continuous," said NWS Billings meteorologist Shawn Palmquist. "And along with the snow, we are expecting some pretty strong winds as well." 

At the western end of the NWS Billings coverage area, Livingston could get 6 inches of snow. On the eastern end, Ekalaka is looking at up to a foot of snow. 

Speaking early Tuesday evening, Palmquist said generally the NWS coverage area should see between 8 and 12 inches, with localized amounts of up to 16 inches. 

Wind gusts are expected to be greatest in northern Wyoming, where the Sheridan area could record gusts in excess of 55 mph. 

Visibility will be limited by blowing and drifting snow, roadways will become snow-packed, and travel will be hazardous if forecasts hold, Palmquist said.

A winter storm watch for nearly all of south-central and southeast Montana in addition to northern Wyoming will go into effect Thursday morning.

In Billings, Thursday will begin with morning rain, and the daily high could reach into the 40s. Snow is expected to begin Thursday afternoon in Billings as it continues to develop from west to east across the region. Little to no snow accumulation is expected during the day.

Overnight Thursday, temperatures are expected to drop into the 20s. 

Some rain could fall over Billings on Wednesday evening. 

Winds accompanying snow Thursday and Friday are expected to be out of the north and northeast. 

Forecasts show a low pressure system moving out of the Great Basin and lifting through Wyoming before it combines with Pacific moisture sometime Thursday. The snow could linger the longest across southeast Montana and is expected to taper off west to east Friday. 

There could be brief afternoon and evening showers Saturday, but Palmquist said they didn't appear to have much, if any, potential for accumulations. 

NWS Billings is also watching the possibility of another weather system that could arrive early next week. Snow and rain are possible from that system, but Palmquist said it was too early to provide a definitive forecast. 

The current record for seasonal snowfall accumulation in Billings, as measured at the Billings Logan International Airport, is 103.5 inches. That was recorded in the winter of 2013-2014. For the 2017 to 2018 season, Billings has seen 103.1 inches of snow.


Night Reporter

General assignment reporter for The Billings Gazette.