The National Weather Service has issued Winter Storm Warnings for all of north-central Montana through Friday. The warning means significant amounts of ice and snow are likely, which will create major travel disruptions. Road crews will have a tough time keeping up with the volume of snow, so some highways in central and northern Montana could become impassable at times.
Here are the confirmed school closures/delays/early-outs that we know of:
- First Lutheran Preschool, St. Jude Thaddeus School and Harlem Public Schools have cancelled classes today. Havre Public Schools' city bus routes will run as scheduled, but rural routes are cancelled.
- Box Elder School will have an early release today around 10:00
- Browning Public Schools posted the following message on Thursday morning: Due to the weather we will be releasing K-6 and High School at 1:00 p.m. the middle school at 1:15 p.m., buses will be leaving the Middle School at 1:30 p.m. Staff may depart at 2:00 p.m. with supervisor permission provided they take leave. Please be careful and be safe
- Blackfeet Early Childhood Center posted the following message: Parents, families, and guardians:
We will be releasing school today at 12:30 pm, and our bus run will begin at 12:45 pm, due to the severe weather and driving conditions. Our first priority is the safety of all our students and their family members. Please make appropriate arrangements for your children during child pick up, and the drop off of bus children. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call Zita K Ottersbach at 338-7370 ext. 2307. Stay safe and warm out there everyone!
- Heart Butte dismissing at 1:00 pm today. For safety, using the smaller bus and a Yukon to transport students home.
- Shelby buses will not run out of town routes. In town routes will be limited. School staff will contact parents to determine individual student transportation.
- Helena Public Schools will release all students early today. Elementary and high school released at 2:40 pm. Middle school at 2:25. School for tomorrow has been cancelled.
- East Helena has FB post saying their buses will operate on normal schedule today and tomorrow. Will update if anything changes.
- Boulder Elementary will release at 1 pm with buses running immediately after that. Jefferson High School is releasing all students at 1:15 in anticipation of the major storm coming in.
- Cascade at Valier basketball games are cancelled due to weather
- Malta – No JV basketball games tonight – GBB Varsity starts at 4:30, BBB Varsity starts at 6:00 pm
- Director for the Area Port of Sweetgrass Daniel Escobedo confirms the Port of Whitlash is closed due to hazardous travel conditions – People should call ahead on Friday to see if it is open – He says Liberty County plows this road and will not get to it until the storm is over
STORMTracker meteorologist Mike Rawlins says a wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet is expected along Interstate 15 from near Conrad to Great Falls to Helena, which will cut down on snow totals.
Great Falls is expected to only pick up 1-3 inches of snow through Friday. However, freezing rain could put down up to .05" of ice initially, creating treacherous travel conditions on Thursday.
Farther north and east, the storm is still expected to drop 12"+ of snow on the Hi-Line and across central Montana.