Labor Day is typically referred to as the unofficial end of summer. For some parts of the country this Labor Day Monday, however, the first Monday of September also marked the first snowfall of the season.
Snow flew around many of the Rocky Mountains’ higher elevations on Monday, mostly in the northern portions of the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana but in other spots as well. Some parts of Montana received up to 10″ worth of snow, with Lemhi Ridge (elevation 8,100′) receiving 3″ of Labor Day snowfall. Beartooth Pass, along the Wyoming-Montana border, was closed on the Wyoming side of the line on Labor Day due to the snowfall.
High elevation snow in these locations this time of year is far from uncommon. As the first significant cold fronts of the fall season push further south in response to decreased sunlight in the northern hemisphere, cooler temperatures begin to spill on down from northern Canada and Alaska, where those temperatures retreat during the peak summer months. In the highest locations of the West (11,000′ plus, treeline in most locations), snow can fall just about any time of the year, but come late August and early September, snowfall at these high elevations becomes the norm.
After a few mostly calmer and milder days this week, more rain and snow could return later this week and into this weekend for the mountains of Montana and Wyoming. Check your local forecast on the top of this page for more details.
WeatherNation will have all the latest on snow and winter weather as the coldest months of the year quickly approach.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi