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Goodbye winter, hello spring: Billings celebrates the changing of the season

Posted at 6:00 PM, Mar 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:49:48-04

BILLINGS – Tuesday, March 19 marks the last day of winter. Snow is still on the ground in Billings, but spring bloom is around the corner.

With snow chills at times dipping into as low as 50 below in some parts of Montana, the Treasure State’s 2018-2019 winter was so cold it even made The Washington Post.

Cecil Johnson, a garden center specialist at Billings Hardware and Garden, said the store even ran out of snow shovels this winter. 

“We ended up selling a lot of snow melt and a lot of snow shovels. At one point when we didn’t have enough snow shovels. We sold grain shovels,” Johnson said. 

“We have had three to four dirt trucks show up in the last couple of weeks –you’re going to have lots and lots and lots of pallets of dirt that the trucks have dropped off, and we can’t even get those into our yard yet because we are waiting for the snow to melt,” she added.

With spring in bloom, can people start planting seeds in the garden yet? Johnson says it might be a little too soon.

“Because we had that cold snap, I don’t think people are going to find it as easy to get into their gardens this year. There is going to be a lot of frost this season down in the dirt, so it’s going to take that much longer to plant them. You can plant anything inside but we are talking outside,” Johnson said. 

In Billings, winter was ordinary through January. Then February hit, and it was the second coldest and third snowiest on record.

Spring weather is even more apt to turn on a dime so be prepared for whatever comes up.