Sunday, April 18, was for some a perfect spring day in Hamilton. The Bitterroot Water Forum was busy with their planting project at Skalkaho Bend Park. Many were out on their bicycles or simply walking the dog, enjoying the sunshine.

However, the weather forecasts had predicted snow above 4,000 feet in Western Montana Sunday night into Monday morning, April 19. Hamilton and Darby are below that elevation, but were blanketed with over 6 inches of snow in many areas Monday morning.

First, though, were hours of very strong, damaging winds Sunday night and early Monday morning. Trees were damaged and outdoor furniture was tossed around. The weather was from an aggressive Arctic cold front that passed through the region. The temperatures dropped and wind brought in the dump of snow in the early morning hours of Monday. Road crews were surprised by the amount of snow, but were quickly on the job, clearing the main roadways.

In typical Bitterroot spring weather patterns however, by 9 a.m. the skies were clearing and temperatures were beginning to climb, starting an almost immediate melting of all that snow, with highs this week into the 60s. Wet conditions are expected for all surfaces in the south end of the Bitterroot Valley Monday, with another surge of moisture expected as early as Thursday night.

This time, the forecasters are expecting rain showers through the weekend. The National Weather Service office in Missoula expects the same path for this next storm, but less severe, with winds only gusting to 30 miles per hour, but a possibility of thunderstorms. Springtime in the Rocky Mountains.

The slide had kids on it Sunday. Not on Monday morning, however. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)
Lost Trail Pass, early Monday morning, April 19. (Idaho Transportation Department photo)

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