An early-season winter storm brought a foot of snow to Montana on Wednesday, forcing school buses to be canceled and residents to get their shovels.
As the storm moves east, much of the country can expect a winter storm in the coming days before the calendar even turns to November.
Winter Storm Archer reportedly brought 10 inches of snow in central Montana, 30 cm in Helena, while other areas along the Rocky Mountain front had 6 to 8 inches.
A second wave of snow will hit the area tonight, with the National Weather Service forecasting snowfall totals of 6 to 12 inches for eastern Montana and western North Dakota.
Winter storm warnings, winter storm watches and winter weather warnings are in effect through Thursday, affecting more than 2.7 million Americans, according to the data Fox weather.
A woman shovels snow in Helena, Montana, as the first major winter storm of the season dropped a foot of snow in the area
The National Weather Service said heavy snowfall of up to 1 inch per hour and snow-covered, icy roads would create difficult travel conditions.
“Roads may be snowy and slippery in the Cascades, northern Rockies and Northern Plains through Thursday,” Weather.com said
“This includes sections of Interstates 15, 25, 90 and 94. Particularly treacherous journeys are possible over mountain passes.”
Plow truck drivers from Bozeman, Montana, were on the road early Wednesday morning NBC Montana.
“We want the snow completely cleared off the sides so that people can get to work and home and do their jobs,” as well as people visiting our city. We want them to say, ‘Hey, it’s easier to get around here,'” said John Van Delinder, road manager for the city of Bozeman.
There is a chance of 1 to 2 feet of snow in the Cascades of northern Washington and the northern Rocky Mountains.
“Some snow is expected to mix with rain across the interior Northwest and northern Great Basin, but accumulations here are expected to be limited,” the National Weather Service said.
The snow in Helena caused school buses to stop running and residents scrambled to clear the roads of the wintry mix.
Montana residents have been sharing videos of their snow-covered homes on TikTok.
“So I know we live in Montana, but I don’t think I was mentally prepared for this,” one user said.
“There’s a little snow here today.” “This is how much it snowed in Montana last night in October,” said a user named Rock Nichols.
A few inches of snow can be expected to accumulate in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota through Friday.
The National Weather Service said: “In addition to the heavy snowfall, a winter storm will follow the cold front moving south across the northern Rockies and Plains, with these frigid temperatures extending southeastward by the end of the week.”
AccuWeather Snow is forecast to extend south and east into part of the central Rocky Mountains and Plains through Thursday.
A person clears a snow-covered sidewalk in Montana. A second wave of snow will move through the area Wednesday night into Thursday
Snowy roads in Montana. The National Weather Service said heavy snowfall of up to 1 inch per hour and snow-covered, icy roads would create difficult travel conditions
Some rain is expected to fall in parts of the Northern Plains on Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of snowfall, creating dangerous road conditions.
“If temperatures drop well below freezing later in the week, this could lead to frost problems and slippery patches on roads and highways,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Joseph Bauer said.
The Arctic cold following the storm will be even more icy, AccuWeather warns.
“After this storm, an arctic air mass will usher in the coldest air of the season,” Bauer said.
“Montana and Wyoming are expected to experience temperatures 15 to 35 degrees below historical average through Thursday evening.”