GREAT FALLS— Temperatures across Montana experienced a dramatic drop late Saturday. From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., the average temperature in Great Falls slid about 40 degrees, and that same cold front is expected to blanket the Capital City overnight.
The National Weather Service (NWS) predicted a decrease “between 20 and 30 degrees within 1 hour of frontal passage.”
The cold air was just moving into Great Falls, Highwood, and Denton areas as of 3 p.m. Saturday; NWS expects wind chill values to continue falling into the single digits.
Snow will hit the Treasure State at full force on Sunday, beginning overnight Saturday and finally beginning to die down on Monday. The National Weather Service precautions Montanans to be wary of “icy and snow covered roads, reduced visibility in blowing snow, [and] hypothermia and frostbite potential for people and animals.”
And frostbite, as described by the Mayo Clinic, can even affect skin covered by gloves or other clothing. The first signs of frostbite are cold skin and a “prickling feeling,” followed by numbness and a visible change in skin color around the affected area. In severe cases, blistering will occur after rewarming.
The most commonly frostbitten areas are located in the extremities and appendages, such as fingertips, earlobes, and toes. The Mayo Clinic also advises those who believe they have frostbite that the best thing they can do is protect themselves from further cold.
Accumulating snow could reach six inches to a foot across the state, leading to travel difficulties and icy roads. Temperatures will drop below zero overnight.