It’s about time we talk about the weather (unfortunately without Marcus this time), and in particular, the snow. It’s gotten late enough into the season now that we can, in fact, talk about it without shivering and glaring aggressively at the sky. Part of living in Montana is the immense snowfall that comes with every winter season, but this year’s amount was so overdone that I saw at least ten students giving the sky a certain impolite gesture in frustration. We as a state were collectively done with the weather by mid-March, while one of Helena’s last snow days was towards the end of April. Even still, the mountains are covered despite it being the early weeks of May.
This year was, unsurprisingly, a record-breaking year in many different aspects regarding snowfall, especially for the flatter places in Montana like Billings or Great Falls, the latter of which broke a 100-year old record by 45 percent greater snowfall. Some of this came at a detrimental cost, however. Though people remained chilly and draped in scarves, cattle and other animals struggled to survive; this winter wasn’t only plentiful with snow but extremely cold, dropping to temperatures below 20 degrees and even further with wind chill, according to the Great Falls Tribune. Not only were urban areas affected, but more populated areas as well. Subarus and Nissans continually slid around corners and unintentionally ran stop signs, along with every other car lacking all-wheel drive. With so much snow and nowhere to put it, 12 foot piles appeared next to the Target’s and McDonalds of every town in the state, while plowers worked constantly to keep roads at a drivable rate. The Browning Indian Reservation was even declared to be in a state of National Emergency for some time when snow levels became so high that people could not leave their homes.
Helena High in particular had its own problems. The parking lot, with piles of snow perfect for parking trucks with cut-off exhaust pipes, slowly became deeper and deeper, with and icy under-layer that, unfortunately, made it harder for the guys in big trucks to gun it and spray everyone with fumes like they do in the summer. Because of conditions like these, HHS even had two snow days, oddly on days that weren’t that bad, but ones that we were all still grateful for having off. These snow days are few and far between in the history of Helena High, and worth celebrating to an extent. Luckily, the school stayed heated, and as we watched painfully from the window of our second period as our cars were covered, we could only shrug and be thankful that at least we weren’t out there. The most unfortunate result of the snow, however, was its effect on the track and softball schedules; the snow lasted so long into the year that multiple practices and even some meets were canceled, while also limiting the track students to running in the halls of the school.
Overall, the snow was absolutely horrible this year, and that’s something we can all agree on. At least now, it’s over. Or so we can only hope.