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Widespread snow on Friday with possible snow squalls

WX Headlines 3-9-2023
Posted at 7:29 PM, Mar 09, 2023

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is in effect for a lot of central and north-central Montana from 11pm Thursday/5am Friday until 5pm Friday/11am Saturday. Up to 5 inches of snow accumulation is possible. Winds are also going to be gusting as high as 40 mph at times.

A WINTER STORM WARNING is in effect for Blaine County, northeastern Chouteau County, western/central Glacier County, Hill County, western/central Pondera County, and the southern Rocky Mountain Front from early Friday morning until midday Saturday. 3 to 12 inches of snow accumulation is expected. Winds are also going to be gusting over 40 mph at times.

A WINTER STORM WATCH is in effect for northeastern Montana from 12pm Friday until 5pm Saturday/12am Sunday. 2 to 12 inches of snow accumulation is expected. Winds are also going to be gusting as high as 55 mph.

Some snow is going to start to work its way into portions of central and north-central Montana after midnight tonight. We are then going to have widespread accumulating snow around tomorrow, and some of this snow may be heavy at times. A little rain and freezing rain is also possible in some of the lower elevations in central and southern Montana tomorrow as some warm air aloft works its way into our area.

Some snow squalls are also possible tomorrow afternoon/evening as a cold front passes through our area. Snow squalls occur when the combination of heavy snow and gusty winds leads to extremely low visibility. If you get caught in a snow squall, slow down, turn on your headlights, and pull over to the side of the road if possible.

As we head into tomorrow night, there are going to continue to be areas of snow around in central and eastern Montana, but this snow will gradually work its way out of the state as the night goes on. There are then going to be a few scattered snow showers around on Saturday.

A wide range of snow accumulation is expected with this storm system. In the lower elevations, 1 to 8 inches of snow accumulation is expected in most locations, but isolated locations may receive up to 12 inches of snow accumulation. Also, the highest snow amounts in the lower elevations will be along the Rocky Mountain Front and along the central and eastern half of the Hi-Line.

In the mountains, 3 to 12 inches of snow accumulation is expected in most locations, with isolated higher amounts possible. This snow is going to create difficult travel conditions tomorrow and tomorrow night, so please be careful when driving and give yourself some extra time to get to where you need to go. Also, if possible, try and delay travel until Saturday when the weather is nicer.

It is also going to continue to be cold tonight and tomorrow as lows tonight are going to be in the single digits and teens, and highs tomorrow are going to be in the 20s and low to mid 30s. Breezy conditions are also expected tonight in locations east of I-15 as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 20 mph. We are then going to have gusty winds around tomorrow in locations east of I-15 as wind gusts over 40 mph are going to be possible at times. Elsewhere, there is going to be a period of gusty winds tomorrow afternoon/evening as the cold front passes through. This wind will also cause there to be areas of blowing snow around.

On Saturday, we are going to have gusty winds around once again as wind gusts up to 40 mph are going to be possible at times, and the strongest wind is going to be in locations east of I-15. It is also going to be cold again on Saturday as highs are going to be in the 20s and low 30s in most locations. Partly cloudy skies are also expected on Saturday.

Partly cloudy skies and mainly dry conditions are then expected on Sunday and Monday. On Sunday, it is going to continue to be cold as highs are going to range from the upper teens to the upper 30s. The temperatures are then going to warm up some on Monday as highs are going to range from the upper 20s to the upper 40s. It is also going to be breezy in some areas on Monday as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 20 mph.

On Tuesday, we are going to have mostly cloudy skies with some isolated rain and snow showers around in north-central Montana and scattered rain and snow showers around in central Montana as a disturbance passes through our area. We are then going to have a chance to see some more rain and snow showers on Wednesday as another disturbance passes through our area. We are also going to have partly cloudy skies on Wednesday.

It is also going to be breezy on Tuesday and Wednesday as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 25 mph. Warmer temperatures are also expected on these two days as highs on Tuesday are going to be in the 30s, 40s, and low 50s, and highs on Wednesday are going to be in the 30s and 40s.