Montana Outdoors

October 3, 2012

On the 43rd day…

Yesterday, western Montana tied a record that has stood for 116 years; 42 days without any measurable precipitation. Finally, in the middle of last night, there was an hour of good rain!

At higher elevations it was celebrated a little differently.

Trail 340 in the Baldy Mountain roadless area

On trail 340 in the Baldy Mountain roadless area.


  1. I’m not surprised. It rained in the lower levels but the wind is so cold it feels like snow might happen overnight


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — October 3, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

    • As far as I can tell, this is a cold front that will last about a week. I encountered snow at 4000 ft and it seemed to be heaviest above 6000. We will have cold nights and cool to seasonal days.


      Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

      • Brrrrr. A whole week!? Oh dear! Well, it’s lucky that it’s such a scenic state. I’ve enjoyed a great week here already. I didn’t bring snowshoes though!


        Comment by wordsfromanneli — October 3, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

        • I was thinking today it might be time to keep my snowshoes in the Jeep along with the (sigh) chains.


          Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

          • Okay, but not until November please.


            Comment by wordsfromanneli — October 4, 2012 @ 11:58 am

            • No, this snow will melt and we will likely have a nice Indian summer.


              Comment by montucky — October 4, 2012 @ 11:45 pm

              • Br-r-r-ring it on. 😉


                Comment by wordsfromanneli — October 5, 2012 @ 8:38 am

                • I remember about ten years ago, the first week of October was quite warm here, temps in the 60’s. Then I went for an antelope hunt in eastern Montana. Slept out under the stars the first night: the next morning it was 17. Suddenly it was Fall!


                  Comment by montucky — October 5, 2012 @ 8:42 pm

  2. Oh, fresh snow! It’s beautiful!


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — October 3, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

    • It sure is and so refreshing for us after the very hot and dry summer we’ve had. When I parked the Jeep and got out into 20 degree weather with a stiff wind blowing it was a good primer for what will come later.


      Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

  3. My word. I knew you’d been dry but had no idea it had been that many days! Thank goodness you got some rain – and isn’t that snow pretty? I think I heard some rumors of quite a storm this weekend, but east of you. Maybe things will start straightening out a bit. I remember waiting for rain – it’s no fun.


    Comment by shoreacres — October 3, 2012 @ 8:24 pm

    • Seems to be snow last night all over from the Divide west at least to Idaho, but in the higher elevations. Strangely now, the forecast is for cool but dry weather for a couple weeks.


      Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

  4. Oh my goodness! Rain and snow, that’s great!


    Comment by Roberta — October 3, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

    • The rain was a big help, especially for the fires and the higher elevation snow should have really lowered the fire danger up there if not ending it for this year.


      Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 9:54 pm

  5. It’s refreshing to see fresh snowfall. Hopefully we’ll experience that directly in NH soon.


    Comment by jomegat — October 3, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

    • Just last week we had days in the low 80’s. How refreshing today was! I’m sure you are thinking about snow activities already for the Pathfinders!


      Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

  6. Wow…and beautiful…already….


    Comment by seekraz — October 3, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

    • Yes, it sure was pretty up there. I will post a few more pictures later.


      Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 9:57 pm

      • And what does the weather forecast look like for days 45, 46…? 🙂


        Comment by seekraz — October 3, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

        • Dry again, sadly enough. Nights in the 20’s days in the 50’s.


          Comment by montucky — October 3, 2012 @ 10:38 pm

  7. whoa, you got up in the snow! It rained ALL night here.


    Comment by Tammie — October 3, 2012 @ 11:12 pm

    • We had a good rain from 3AM to 4AM and it was so enjoyable! There were pretty heavy clouds over the valley here this morning but I guessed there would be snow up higher and went up to find out. I hiked the first mile of the trail and the weather up there turned pretty unfriendly and so I didn’t go any further. It was beautiful though!


      Comment by montucky — October 4, 2012 @ 12:06 am

  8. It’s beautiful, but a little too early for me. I’m in no hurry to start shoveling the roof!


    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — October 4, 2012 @ 4:27 am

    • This is not really unusual here. It is common to have the first snow in September or early October followed by a delightful Indian summer.


      Comment by montucky — October 4, 2012 @ 8:34 pm

  9. Ooohhh!! ♥
    This photo made my day….soo beautiful!


    Comment by TheDailyClick — October 4, 2012 @ 5:12 am

  10. Hoorah for your rain (although I would have been more than happy to WILL ours up to your area, wink)… And how LOVELY! The snow, the trees, against those skies! Perfect.


    Comment by FeyGirl — October 4, 2012 @ 5:27 am

    • WILL away! Our forecast is for dry weather again for a long time! I’m glad I headed for the hills when I thought there might be snow up there!


      Comment by montucky — October 4, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

  11. Beautiful photo but I still hate snow!


    Comment by Roberta — October 4, 2012 @ 5:37 am

    • Well, at least for now you’re at a safe distance! I would not have the same enthusiasm for it if I lived in an urban setting or had to be on the highways every day.


      Comment by montucky — October 4, 2012 @ 8:38 pm

  12. Dry as a bone and 95 here yesterday in the Sacramento valley. Cooler air is supposedly coming our way today and throughout the weekend but it’s still too early to expect any precipitation. Our good news is that fall migration is in full swing with the sighting of thousands of white-fronted geese covering the morning skies yesterday. Fall is definitely here even though the rain and snow aren’t yet.


    Comment by anniespickns — October 4, 2012 @ 6:31 am

    • Today’s high was 50 and the nights now are in the mid 20’s. I prefer that to 95! Those geese must be nice to see! A few flights of Canadians have been going through here as well as some migrating songbirds.


      Comment by montucky — October 4, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

  13. Funny thing, I travel to NY to enjoy getting out of the heat, and lo and behold, it’s colder back in KC than it is here. Go figure. Hoping for more rain for you guys. What a strange year it has been.


    Comment by Homestead Ramblings — October 4, 2012 @ 6:44 am

    • It has been a very unusual year across the whole U.S.! Yes, I would like some good rain before it turns cold. I don’t exactly like freezing rain… rather have snow.


      Comment by montucky — October 4, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

  14. I can easily relate to the pleasure and some sense of relief you experienced on hearing those rain drops on your roof. It was at about this time last year that the first rains came here in central Texas after the hottest summer on record – by a wide margin – and with over half the state in Exceptional Drought. Perhaps this will herald the beginning of the end to your dry spell, as well.


    Comment by Dave at collinda — October 4, 2012 @ 7:21 am

    • I remember what your summer was like last year! I have a special love for rain anyway so not having it for so long is a double blow. What a pleasure it was to hear it come down the other night! I’ll bet we stay pretty dry until the snow season starts and I hope for a heavy snow year again. Last winter was excellent for the snow pack and that mitigated the summer’s drought by at least keeping most of the stream flows up.


      Comment by montucky — October 4, 2012 @ 8:50 pm

  15. Congrats on the rain!!!!!!!!! The image is drop dead gorgeous!!


    Comment by zannyro — October 4, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    • The rain was great! Yes, the snow was really pretty even though there was only a little blue sky to go with it. I wanted to go higher up the trail but the clouds really closed in.


      Comment by montucky — October 4, 2012 @ 8:51 pm

      • What a great experience 🙂


        Comment by zannyro — October 4, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

        • It is always great to be out there and especially so in inclement weather. The wild country can be awesome!


          Comment by montucky — October 4, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

  16. Boy that sure is pretty! Nature finally provided some needed relief!


    Comment by dhphotosite — October 4, 2012 @ 11:01 am

    • It sure did. The fire season is over now in the higher elevations and the conditions in the valleys are much better although still dry.


      Comment by montucky — October 4, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

  17. Oh my, that’s a pretty sight! I’m not quite ready for snow yet though, so I’ll hold onto the autumn season just a little longer if possible.


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — October 4, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

    • I look forward to a fall season too. This snow will not last very long. I understand that because of the late summer heat and dry conditions we may not have much for fall colors this year though.


      Comment by montucky — October 4, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

  18. There is nothing prettier than new snow, unless it is new snow on top of a mountain. I am glad you got some moisture, anyway. We are having a wet week, with above average temps, here in the east.


    Comment by sandy — October 4, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

    • Wet conditions and normal temps are perfect for this time of year! It’s amazing to me how the trees and other plants can go through conditions like we’ve had this year. They are very strong and resilient!


      Comment by montucky — October 4, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

  19. What a marvelous sight… the concrete answer to prayer for sure. Although snow is annoying sometimes it surely beats drought by a mile…. and it is sooooooo very beautiful. Sometimes I think that’s the way with blessings… I wish you a safe and warm autumn and winter. This photo means a lot to me… what you’ve been through is a lesson in getting through.


    Comment by Merrill Gonzales (@MerrillGonzales) — October 4, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

    • Yes, I welcome snow compared to heat and drought. It is a wonder of the natural world, isn’t it! I’m glad you liked the photo!


      Comment by montucky — October 4, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

  20. The weather has gone wonky this year, hasn’t it… gorgeous snow scene! =)


    Comment by Tricia — October 4, 2012 @ 6:44 pm

    • Yes, the weather has been strange all over this year. I feel very bad for those who have been hurt by it. I loved seeing this snow and it was just about right for me to be able to get up into it. Too much more might have made the road impassable even for my Jeep. It’s a privilege to get into a roadless area in snow!


      Comment by montucky — October 4, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

  21. Hi Montucky, Though I do like snow a bit, I guess I still like warmer Winter weather. You can have that beautiful white stuff. Have a splendid day tomorrow!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — October 4, 2012 @ 9:09 pm

    • I would be happy with fewer winter months, but still they make spring and summer all that much sweeter. You have a great day too!


      Comment by montucky — October 4, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

  22. I had forgotten how beautiful snow can be. About the rain. Last September was the rainiest September since 1918. It rained 160 millimeters. Also here where I live about 45 kilometers / 27 miles to the North of Helsinki it has rained and rained. Some days when the rain stopped it restarted after six hours. Okay, there are good points also – the weather is few degrees warmer than normally.


    Comment by Sartenada — October 4, 2012 @ 10:45 pm

    • That is a lot of rain in one month! In this part of our state we get only about three times that much rain in a whole year! In the state of Montana this year over 1 million acres have burned in the fires. If there is a lot of rain next summer there will be flooding and mud slides.


      Comment by montucky — October 4, 2012 @ 11:41 pm

  23. Beautiful! But early. Glad you got some precipitation finally, though.


    Comment by Candace — October 6, 2012 @ 10:37 am

    • Strange too. Just that one hour, nothing since and no more in the forecast. The snow really helped the fire situation, at least in the higher areas.


      Comment by montucky — October 6, 2012 @ 10:03 pm

  24. It feels like it could snow here right now… I’m not ready!! Looks like winter in Montana… beautiful photograph!!!


    Comment by Anonymous — October 6, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

    • Well, one day of winter, just a preview at least locally. Maybe that was a wake-up call for those who weren’t prepared!


      Comment by montucky — October 6, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

  25. Ahhhh! What you’ve been waiting for! Hope the woodpile is ready to go.


    Comment by Tammy — October 6, 2012 @ 8:26 pm

    • Yes, we’re ready. The wood stove has been working the last several nights. (It was 21 last night.)


      Comment by montucky — October 6, 2012 @ 10:05 pm

  26. This is a gorgeous photo!
    It seems weird to me that you’ve got snow and we’re not even in Winter yet (thankfully). I hope not to see snow here this year, I had enough of it a couple of years running (I’m not good in extremes of temperature, though it does look beautiful).


    Comment by Val — October 8, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

    • Thanks Val! Well, we’re back in the 50’s (F) again now, but the snow was a real treat.


      Comment by montucky — October 8, 2012 @ 8:27 pm

  27. Snow already ! It’s soooo beautiful !


    Comment by Inspired and pretty — October 8, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

    • I love the early snow when they come. This snow is already gone, probably for another month. Then it will come to stay.


      Comment by montucky — October 8, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

  28. Glad you got some precipitation, montucky! In Ohio the drought is fading as normal rain patterns reassert themselves.


    Comment by Watching Seasons — October 11, 2012 @ 7:29 am

    • I’m glad you are getting back toward normal. We are expecting rain this weekend, but the forecast seems to be weakening a little. We need the precipitation very badly.


      Comment by montucky — October 11, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

  29. Snow already ? We have had some just to top the mountains but nothing as much as you had.Fall is highlighting the mountain slopes here, simply beautiful.


    Comment by isathreadsoflife — October 12, 2012 @ 3:01 am

    • The have been several snowfalls in this general area, all at higher elevations. Much more is expected over the next week. It’s all good; we need it so badly.


      Comment by montucky — October 12, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

  30. When it rains, it ….. snows! Snowbowl ski area held a Pray for Snow party on that Friday and the next morning, there was snow, even at my house a couple thousand feet lower in elevation.

    Still want some Indian Summer though…


    Comment by Kim — October 19, 2012 @ 9:38 am

    • Today I was in rain, sun, wind, sleet, graupel and a beautiful snow storm. Somewhere in all of that was Fall!


      Comment by montucky — October 20, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: