A HIGH WIND WARNING is in effect for the Rocky Mountain Front from 12am until 12pm Thursday and for eastern portions of north-central Montana from 5am until 6pm/9pm Thursday. Sustained wind speeds are going to be between 30 and 45 mph, and wind gusts up to 60 mph are going to be possible at times.
A WINTER STORM WATCH is in effect for a lot of western, central, and southern Montana for most of Friday and Saturday. In the lower elevations, 4 to 12 inches of snow accumulation is expected. In the mountains, 10 to 24 inches of snow accumulation is expected. This snow will create difficult travel conditions, so please try and avoid traveling during these two days if possible.
There are going to be scattered snow and rain showers around tonight and tomorrow as a couple disturbances pass through our area. In the mountains, up to 4 inches of new snow accumulation is possible by Thursday evening. In the lower elevations, less than an inch of new snow accumulation is expected by Thursday evening. We are also going to have mostly cloudy skies tonight and tomorrow.
The wind is going to increase tonight. We are then going to have widespread gusty to strong winds around tomorrow as wind gusts up to 60 mph are going to be possible at times. Also, the wind tomorrow is going to be coming out of the west in most locations. We are also going to have above average temperatures tonight and tomorrow as lows tonight are going to be in the 20s and low 30s in most locations, and highs tomorrow are going to be in the 30s and 40s. Tomorrow is also going to be the warmest day of the next week, so enjoy the warmth while we have it.
Precipitation will become more widespread in coverage as we go through tomorrow night as a storm system begins to approach our area. This precipitation will initially be in the form of a wintry mix (rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow), but as colder air moves in, this precipitation will switch-over to all snow. Widespread accumulating snow is then expected on Friday and Saturday, with the snow gradually tapering off from north to south as we go through the day on Saturday. The snow that falls on Friday and Saturday may also be heavy at times.
This is going to be an impactful snow event for a lot of western, central, and southern Montana. In these areas (specifically the areas that are under a Winter Storm Watch), 4 to 12 inches of snow accumulation is expected in the lower elevations, and 10 to 24 inches of snow accumulation is expected in the mountains. This snow will create difficult travel conditions, so please try and avoid traveling on these two days if possible. In eastern Montana and in portions of north-central Montana (especially along the Hi-Line), this storm system will not be as impactful as less than 5 inches of snow accumulation is expected.
The temperatures are also going to cool down a lot between Friday and Saturday as highs on Friday are going to be in the 30s in a lot of locations (highs will occur during the morning), and highs on Saturday are going to be in the single digits and teens. It is also going to be breezy on these two days as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 20 mph, and this is going to be a cold wind as it is going to be coming out of the north.
Bitter cold temperatures are then expected on Sunday and Monday as highs are going to be in the -0s and 0s, and lows are going to be in the -10s and -20s. The temperatures will then start to warm up a little bit as we head into the middle of next week as highs are going to be in the 0s and 10s on Tuesday and the teens on Wednesday. There is also going to be a bit of a breeze around in some areas from Monday through Wednesday as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 5 and 20 mph.
On Sunday, we are going to have partly to mostly cloudy skies with some isolated snow showers around, generally in central Montana. Mostly sunny skies and dry conditions are then expected on Monday. There are then going to be a few snow showers around on Tuesday as a disturbance passes through our area. We are then going to have partly to mostly cloudy skies and mostly dry conditions on Wednesday.