Weather in Montana can be pretty unforgiving for the unprepared. This can be especially true in the winter. “Big Sky Country” doesn’t get its name just from the summer’s wide open, blue skies, but the winter storm clouds that can swirl overhead. According to the Billings Gazette, the winter of 2016 set a record from the most snowfall in a December since 1955. The total for that month was 29.8 inches. Similarly, according to Accuweather.com, Montana has over a 75 percent probability of having a white Christmas complete with snow. This prediction is based on historical probabilities.
Another article featured in the Billings Gazette predicts that clouds will roll into the Billings area this evening. A cold front will then settle in according to the National Weather Service (NWS). This cold front will bring with it wind and possible snow and rain starting Friday night and continue into Saturday. All of this could result in slick roads. Ryan Walsh, a meteorologist with the NWS, said that “models are hinting at maybe some temperatures colder than what we have been seeing and maybe a better chance of snow accumulation.” With such predictions, it is crucial to be sure that you are ready for winter driving.
Even though this winter has been somewhat mild so far compared to past years, for some people, the initial storms of the season can serve as reminders to get your car ready to go. For example, checking things like tire pressure, windshield wipers, and your emergency kit are all things that should be checked before the snow begins to fall. An emergency kit, for instance, is something you can quickly look at and see if you are missing any items.
If you do not have an emergency kit, there are plenty of websites out there that sell safety kits with anything you could need. You can also make your own safety kit. For example, at The Advocates, we made a list of possible items you might like to consider when you are creating your own safety kit. If you fail to check these items before the first winter storm, you might get caught in a storm, at that point, it will be too late.
Additionally, being more aware before you drive can help you be prepared for winter driving. For example, checking the Montana Department of Transportation’s (MDT) website can help you see when there are urgent winter weather messages. The purpose of these messages is to provide crucial information to help make your driving a little safer. Similar information can be gathered from local news organizations like KBZK.com, or NBC Montana can help.
We just want to help you have a safe winter driving season. Every day, we work with individuals who met an unfortunate accident. Sometimes, these accidents could be avoided by making a few modifications to your car and changing the way you drive in the winter. Although winter is just getting started, there could be some big storms ahead this season. Don’t allow the Montana winters to get the best of you. Almost anything that can potentially prevent a horrible accident is worth a try.