HAVRE, MT — Medicine Hat has been seeing normal amounts of precipitation for this time of year, but it's a different story for people living in Havre, Montana.
The town has already seen more than 70 inches of snow.
Their normal for this time of year is 23 inches.
“The story has actually been the snow we’ve had and snow removal,” said volunteer storm spotter, Josh Miller.
Miller, 27, lives in Havre and volunteers with the National Weather Service, providing updates on any weather systems that move through the community.
“Weather just affects everybody,” Miller said. “Ever since I was a kid, I was fascinated with it.”
In his seven years of volunteering, Miller has seen just about everything.
“We see anything from tornadoes, funnel clouds, large hail in the summertime to blizzards, freezing rain,” he said.
Anytime there’s a system building, Miller grabs his camera and heads towards it.
He passes along any details he gathers to the National Weather Service and shares it with anyone following along online.
Late last year, the government agency awarded Miller the Spotter Appreciation Award.
“There’s really that public safety element and so I can actually help in some way tell the story and actually get that information out there, I’m going to do that,” he said.
This winter has brought more snow than in previous years.
“The big problem is where to put all this snow,” Miller added.
But the weather tells a different story in Medicine Hat.
“We’ve seen a lot of precipitation to the areas south and west of the Medicine Hat area, really associated with what the storm track has been doing and where the impulses that are riding along that storm track have been moving,” said Brian Proctor, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment Canada.
Proctor explained that the systems we’ve seen so far this winter have been mostly confined to the foothills.
The storms move south, just missing Medicine Hat, while heading straight for Havre.
“Over the last few months we’ve just been slammed with snow,” Miller said.
Medicine Hat has been seeing precipitation levels right around normal, but the weather track has started shifting and already February has seen more than average.
“Havre is, if I can put it this way, sharing the wealth of the snow they’ve had to areas a little bit further the north and northeast,” Proctor added.
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