DENVER, the United States, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) -- The first big snowstorm of the season blasted the northern Rockies over the weekend, unloading 3-4 feet of snow in areas with blizzard conditions and breaking records across U.S. state of Montana and state of Washington.
The massive weather front stretched from the Pacific northwest into central Montana, where Governor Steve Bullock declared a winter storm emergency after widespread reports of power outages and road closures.
"The combination of a storm from the Pacific Ocean, a fresh injection of cold air from northern Canada, moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and a northeast-ascending flow that squeezed extra moisture from the atmosphere produced the amazing snowfall," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
Although northwest Washington saw up to one foot of snow, and 55-mile-an-hour winds rocked Oregon - where the Cascade Mountains got up to 10 inches of snow - Montana got hit the hardest.
"The storm brought heavy, wet snow with accumulation amounts up to three feet in some locations. High winds have downed trees and power lines resulting in road closures, emergency travel conditions, intermittent cellular service and power outages," the governor's office said in a press release Sunday.
Across the northern part of America's fourth-largest state, Montana school children stayed home Monday - the earliest such snow day in history.
Along the Canada-Montana border, 4 feet of snow was consistent and temperatures plummeted 30 degrees Fahrenheit below normal.
The National Weather Service (NWS) called the storm "historic" on Monday as it dropped snow on parts of California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah.
"Many daily record low temperatures records are possible through Monday, especially across the Northern Great Basin, Rockies, and Northern California," the NWS said.
Great Falls, a city in Montana registered about more than 18 inches of snowfall through the weekend. With nearly 10 inches of snowfall on Saturday alone, the city has buried a 65-year-old record.