Snow-free stretch could last for weeks - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Snow-free stretch could last for weeks

Posted: 12/06/2017 16:30:00 -07:00 Updated:

December is starting to look and feel more like October or November across Montana.

A stubborn ridge of high pressure has developed over the West and is expected to sit in place for the foreseeable future.

STORMTracker meteorologist Mike Rawlins says it will take significant changes in the overall atmosphere to break down the ridge and deliver a change in our weather.

Warm and dry conditions are expected across the majority of the Treasure State through the next ten days. The exception will be across far eastern Montana where a northerly flow out of Canada will bring colder air and some snow at times through the next week.

Helena will also deal with colder-than-average temperatures due to a valley inversion.

That inversion will trap cold air near the valley floor, keeping temperatures cold and decreasing the air quality.

Elsewhere, downsloping winds off the Rocky Mountains will dry out the plains of north-central Montana and push temperatures above average.

By late week, highs are expected to jump into the 50s and morning lows will only drop into the 20s.

Rawlins says this pattern is reminiscent of recent winters where Montana goes weeks without getting significant snow.

Concerns about wildfires are already growing: the fire danger is now at "moderate" across most of the state, with a few select locations already reporting "very high" fire danger.

Forecast models indicate a change in the pattern could come mid-month, but confidence in this change is low.

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