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Strong winds before extreme cold

Areas of snow around throughout the week
WX Headlines 1-8-2024
Posted at 6:30 PM, Jan 08, 2024

A HIGH WIND WARNING is in effect for a lot of central and north-central Montana from 5am/12pm Tuesday until 12am Wednesday.

A HIGH WIND WATCH is in effect for southwestern Phillips County from 5pm Tuesday until 5am Wednesday.

A WINTER STORM WARNING is in effect for the East Glacier area from 5am Tuesday until 5am Thursday.

A WINTER STORM WARNING is in effect for portions of western Montana until 11am Wednesday/5am Thursday.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is in effect for the Rocky Mountain Front from 5am Tuesday until 5am Thursday.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is in effect for portions of western Montana until 8pm Tuesday/11am Wednesday.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is in effect for portions of southwestern Montana until 5am Wednesday.

We are going to have increasing clouds tonight with a few snow showers around, especially after midnight and especially in the mountains and along portions of the Hi-Line, as a disturbance begins to approach our area from the west. We are then going to have mostly to partly cloudy skies tomorrow with snow likely along the Divide and along the Rocky Mountain Front; snow showers likely around the Helena area; and some scattered snow showers around in north-central Montana, generally around/east of a line from Havre to Lewistown, as this disturbance passes through our area.

There are then going to be scattered areas of snow around tomorrow night and Wednesday, especially between midnight and noon on Wednesday, as another disturbance passes through our area. We are also going to have increasing clouds tomorrow night and mostly cloudy to overcast skies on Wednesday.

Between this evening and Wednesday evening, a coating to 4 inches of snow accumulation is expected in most of the lower elevations within central and north-central Montana. In the mountains east of the Continental Divide, 3 to 8 inches of snow accumulation is expected. Along the Rocky Mountain Front, 2 to 10 inches of snow accumulation is expected, and in the Glacier National Park area, 10 to 24 inches of snow accumulation is expected.

Travel over some of the mountain passes will be difficult to dangerous over the next few days, and in the lower elevations, slick/snow-covered roads are expected over the next few days, so please be careful when traveling. Blowing snow and low visibility is also going to be an issue tonight through tomorrow night, especially in the mountains.

We are also going to have increasing wind tonight, especially after midnight. It is then going to be windy tomorrow in central and western portions of north-central Montana as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 20 and 40 mph, and widespread wind gusts over 50 mph are possible. In eastern portions of north-central Montana, we are going to have increasing wind tomorrow, with gusty winds (gusts over 40 mph) during the afternoon and evening. Also, this wind is going to be coming out of the west or southwest in most locations.

Gusty to strong winds will continue Tuesday night, but will gradually weaken as the night goes on. The wind direction will also shift to come out of the northwest as the night goes on. It is then going to be breezy on Wednesday in eastern portions of north-central Montana as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 25 mph, and it is going to be a little bit breezy elsewhere as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 5 and 20 mph.

It is going to be cold again tonight along the central/eastern half of the Hi-Line as lows are going to be in the -0s and 0s. Elsewhere, it is going to be warmer tonight than it was last night as lows are going to be in the mid to upper teens and low to mid 20s. Tomorrow is then going to be the warmest day of the week as highs are going to be in the 30s and low to mid 40s, although the wind will make it feel colder. Colder temperatures are then expected on Wednesday as highs are going to be in the single digits and teens in north-central Montana and the teens and 20s in central Montana.

There are then going to be areas of snow around on Thursday and Friday, especially between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, as a stronger disturbance passes through our area. We are also going to have mostly cloudy to overcast skies on these two days.

The temperatures are also going to get significantly colder over these two days as highs on Thursday are going to be in the 0s and -0s; lows Thursday night are going to be in the -10s and -20s in a lot of locations; and highs on Friday are going to be in the -10s in a lot of locations. It is also going to be a bit breezy in some areas on these two days as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 20 mph.

Dangerously cold temperatures will stick around for this weekend as lows Saturday morning and Sunday morning are going to be in the -10s, -20s, and -30s, and wind chills as lows as 55 below zero are possible. Also, highs on Saturday are going to be in the -0s and -10s, and highs on Sunday are going to be in the -0s in a lot of locations. Thankfully, the wind will be on the lighter side this weekend, or the wind chills could be even worse than what is already possible.

We are also going to have partly cloudy skies on Saturday with a chance of snow around the Helena area and a slight chance of snow in north-central Montana as a storm system might work its way into our area from the southwest. There is then going to be some scattered snow around the Helena area on Sunday, and isolated snow showers are possible in north-central Montana on Sunday as this storm system leaves our area. We are also going to have mostly cloudy skies on Sunday.

Somewhat nicer weather is then expected on Monday as we are going to have partly cloudy skies, mostly dry conditions, and warmer temperatures as highs are going to be in the 0s and 10s above zero. It is also going to be a little bit breezy on Monday as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 5 and 20 mph.