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90s to the 40s: huge pattern shift coming this week - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

90s to the 40s: huge pattern shift coming this week

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The STORMTracker Weather Team says much colder air, rain, and snow are on the way by week's end.

Montana has dealt with hot, dry conditions for months, creating one of the worst fire seasons in recent memory.

It now appears that the Treasure State will finally catch a break later this week as a huge pattern shift brings rain and snow to areas that are desperate for moisture.

STORMTracker meteorologist Mike Rawlins says a potent storm system will swing into the Northern Rockies on Thursday and Friday, creating widespread rain and mountain snow.

Rawlins says this will be one of the strongest storm systems to affect the state in several months.

You should start to see changes in the sky as early as Wednesday.

Moisture moving in from the southwest will produce scattered clouds on Wednesday, along with a few showers and thunderstorms.

A cold front is expected to sweep south through the state at the same time, opening the door to much colder air in Canada.

By Thursday, rain will be falling across the state. Simultaneously, colder air will be diving south out of Canada.

That will result in the rain changing to snow in the mountains of Montana.

At this time, Rawlins expects snow levels to drop down to 6000', which will result in a heavy, wet snow falling in some of Montana's mountain passes.

The storm is expected to linger through Friday night before spinning away on Saturday.

Most places should expect to receive .50-2" of rain through Friday night, but locally higher amounts of up to 3" will be possible.

Temperatures will drop from the 90s on Tuesday into the 40s for highs by Friday.

It's important to note that there are many variables at play with this storm system that could impact rain/snow amounts and the timing of the storm. Watch for future updates from the STORMTracker Weather Team as the storm approaches.

Download the STORMTracker Weather App for exclusive weather updates right from the STORMTracker Weather Center.

STORMTracker meteorologist Mike Rawlins will host a LIVE question and answer session on Facebook at 8 pm on Monday. It's your opportunity to ask about fire season, Montana's drought, and get up-to-the-minute information on the approaching storm. Click here for the STORMTracker Weather Facebook page.

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