First Winter Storm Watch of the season issued for Montana - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

First Winter Storm Watch of the season issued for Montana

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It appears summer may be ending in a hurry in some parts of Montana.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch, the first of the season, for parts of western Montana.

The watch means heavy snow could lead to hazardous travel conditions.

It includes Highway 93 Sula to Lost Trail Pass, Georgetown Lake, and MacDonald Pass.

STORMTracker meteorologist Mike Rawlins says this area will receive 1-3" of snow above 6000' elevation and 3-6" of snow above 7000'.

The watch is in effect from Thursday evening through Friday morning.

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

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.

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

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