The snowplows came out early as over six inches of snow fell from Wednesday night to Thursday morning, December 15, in Ravalli County.

The snow was part of a major storm that arrived from the Pacific Coast and collided with a strong Arctic cold front that is leading to very cold temperatures throughout the Northern tier of states in the U.S.

In the Bitterroot Valley, the light snow was causing travel problems on clogged side roads, though the main thoroughfares were being plowed during the morning hours.

Some blowing and drifting snow was reported on Chief Joseph Pass at the south end of the valley.

Lost Trail Powder Mountain ski area reported at least eight inches of snow overnight to greet skiers and snowboarders on the area's first full day of operation this winter.

The Arctic cold will slide further south this weekend and will creep into the valley, with highs in the teens and lows near zero.