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Bitter cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills

WX Headlines 1-11-2024
Posted at 8:09 PM, Jan 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-11 22:18:01-05

A WINTER STORM WARNING is in effect for the southern Rocky Mountain Front, portions of Lewis and Clark County, and a lot of western Montana until 12am/5am/11am Friday.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is in effect for a lot of southwestern, central, and north-central Montana until 11am Friday and for a lot of south-central and southeastern Montana until 6pm Friday.

A WIND CHILL ADVISORY is in effect for northeastern Montana until 5pm Friday and for southeastern Montana until 5pm Sunday.

A WIND CHILL WARNING is in effect for most of western Montana until 5am/11am Saturday and for most of central and north-central Montana until 5pm Sunday.

Dangerously cold air has arrived in Montana and will be sticking around through the weekend. Tonight, lows are going to be in the -20s in a lot of locations, and tomorrow, highs are only going to be in the -10s and -20s. Tomorrow night is then going to be a record cold night in a lot of locations as lows are going to be in the -30s and -40s. It is then going to continue to be extremely cold this weekend as highs are going to be in the -10s and -0s in most locations.

It is also going to be breezy in some areas tonight as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 20 mph. Tomorrow, it is going to be breezy in eastern Montana (sustained wind speeds between 10 and 20 mph), and a little breezy elsewhere (sustained wind speeds between 5 and 15 mph). Calmer wind is then expected this weekend.

This wind combined with frigid temperatures is going to make for some extremely dangerous wind chills for the next few days as wind chills as low as -50° to -65° are possible in a lot of north-central and central Montana, with places along the Rocky Mountain Front and in the Glacier National Park area potentially seeing wind chills as low as -75°. Please try and stay indoors over the next few days if you can as this is life-threatening cold that we are going to be dealing with, and frostbite can occur immediately if you are outdoors at all. Also, the coldest wind chills are expected from tonight through Saturday morning, with some improvement in the wind chills as we go through the weekend.

There are going to be areas of snow around tonight as a disturbance passes through our area. There are then going to be some scattered snow showers around tomorrow morning in southern and eastern Montana. In central and north-central Montana, a very fine and non-impactful snow may fall in some areas during the morning as we retain some moisture in the atmosphere from this disturbance. We are also going to have overcast skies through tomorrow morning, with decreasing clouds later on tomorrow.

Between Thursday evening and Friday evening, up to 5 inches of new snow accumulation is possible in portions of southwestern Montana (up to 8 inches of new snow accumulation is possible in the mountains), and up to 3 inches of new snow accumulation is possible everywhere else. Roads are also going to be slick or snow-covered throughout much of Montana tonight and tomorrow, so please use extreme caution when driving and give yourself some extra time to get to where you need to go.

Lots of sunshine and dry conditions are then expected on Saturday as arctic high pressure is going to be in control of our weather. We are then going to have partly to mostly cloudy skies with a slight chance of snow showers on Sunday as a disturbance passes by our area to the south.

The temperatures are then going to warm back up some early next week as highs are going to be in the -0s and 0s on Monday, and the teens and 20s on Tuesday. On Monday, we are going to have partly to mostly sunny skies and mainly dry conditions. There are then going to be some scattered snow showers around on Tuesday as a disturbance passes through our area. We are also going to have overcast skies on Tuesday. It is also going to be a little breezy on Monday (sustained wind speeds between 5 and 20 mph), and breezy on Tuesday (sustained wind speeds between 10 and 25 mph).

Snow showers are then likely on Wednesday, and we are going to have a chance to see some more snow on Thursday as a couple disturbances pass through our area. We are also going to have mostly cloudy skies on Wednesday and partly to mostly cloudy skies on Thursday.

It is also going to be chilly on Wednesday and Thursday as highs are going to be in the mid to upper teens and low to mid 20s in most locations. It is also going to be a bit breezy on Wednesday as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 20 mph.