909 The 15 April 2016 Winter Storm in North Central Montana: Ingredients for a Disaster Area

Tuesday, 24 January 2017
Washington State Convention Center
Brian J. Billings, Millersville Univ., Millersville, PA

Presidential disaster declarations for winter storms are not common in the colder climate of Montana. However, a disaster area was declared following a storm which struck the north central portion of the state during the early morning hours of 15 April 2016. While the 24-hour snowfall totals were consistently less than six inches, the snow had a very high moisture content and was accompanied by strong winds exceeding thirty knots. This led to the downing of numerous power poles with some customers being without power for several days. This presentation examines the meteorological conditions leading to this event including the evolution of the pressure field producing the strong winds, the dynamics of the upslope flow and the resulting lift, and the microphysics of the extremely wet snowfall.

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