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Will the Snow Stay?

It’s shaping up to be another snowy winter in Western Montana. (Photo courtesy of Katie Brady/Flicker)

Growing up in Montana, I never had any reason to dream of a white Christmas. It was just a given.


But it has been an unusually dry December, and before Wednesday morning, I was convinced this would be my first Christmas in recent memory without a nice, thick blanket of the white stuff.


Still, there are a few days before Santa comes to town, and with temperatures expected to hover at or above 32 degrees, who knows how long this layer will last.


Although snowless roads would make for much safer holiday driving conditions, a lack of frozen precipitation on Christmas morning would seriously hinder my ability to get into the holiday mood. By March, I’m sure I’ll be cursing every snowflake falling from the sky, but right now, all I can think is, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”


When we got our first big storm in November, I remember thinking, “Here we go again.”


After last year’s seemingly endless winter, I prepared myself for the worst as soon as temperatures started falling closer to the freezing mark. Long-range weather forecasts confirmed my sense of foreboding: according to reports released this fall, the La Nina trend is supposed to continue this winter, meaning lots of cold and snowy days — not to mention excellent skiing conditions.


That prediction may not have played out during the first part of the month, but according to a follow-up report issued last week by the National Weather Service, Missoula ski bums have reason for hope. The report emphasized that the bulk of La Nina’s effects in Western Montana might be delayed until January due to the ridge of low pressure around the North Pole that previously diverted several big storms north and south of our neck of the woods. But, it’s still shaping up to be a very snowy winter season.


So enjoy walking in your winter wonderland, Missoula. Before you know it, you’ll be scraping a half-inch of ice off of your windshield in April and dreaming of a warm summer.


Brooke is a 2010 graduate of The University of Montana, where she ran track and cross country for the Grizzlies. She is currently working as a writer and editor in Missoula.


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