A Wind Chill Warning is in effect for the Hi-Line and northeastern Montana until 11am Saturday, and a Wind Chill Advisory is in effect for the rest of central Montana until 11am Saturday. Wind chills as low as 50 below zero are possible along the Hi-Line and in northeastern Montana, while wind chills as low as 35 below zero are possible in the rest of central Montana. With wind chills this low, frostbite can occur on exposed skin in as little as 5 to 15 minutes.
A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Cascade County, Judith Basin County, Glacier County, Lewis and Clark County, western Pondera County, and western Teton County from 6am Saturday until 6am Sunday. Widespread blowing and drifting snow is expected, which will create slippery road conditions and cause there to be areas of low visibility.
A High Wind Watch is in effect for the Rocky Mountain Front and all of Glacier County from 2pm Saturday until 6pm Sunday. Sustained wind speeds are going to be between 30 and 40 mph, and wind gusts up to 75 mph are possible.
It is going to be frigid tonight as lows are going to be in the -20s and -10s, and wind chills are going to be between 15 and 45 below zero for most of the night. If you are going to be celebrating the new year outside tonight, please bundle up, wear multiple layers, and try and limit your time outdoors as much as possible. We are also going to have mostly clear skies and dry conditions tonight. The wind is also going to start to pick up late tonight in locations along and west of I-15.
For this weekend, the big story is going to be the wind. The wind is going to increase throughout the day tomorrow, with widespread windy conditions expected from tomorrow afternoon/evening through Sunday morning. The wind is then going to gradually diminish from west to east during the second half of Sunday. Per usual, the strongest winds are going to be along the Rocky Mountain Front where sustained wind speeds are going to be between 20 and 40 mph, and wind gusts up to 75 mph are going to be possible at times. For the rest of north-central Montana, sustained wind speeds this weekend are going to be between 10 and 30 mph, and wind gusts up to 50+ mph are going to be possible at times.
Widespread blowing and drifting snow is also expected this weekend due to these gusty winds, so plan for slippery road conditions and areas of low visibility if you are going to be traveling anywhere. Along the Rocky Mountain Front, hazardous driving conditions are expected all weekend due to this blowing and drifting snow.
Even though it is going to be breezy/windy this weekend, at least it is going to be warmer than it has been over the past week. On Saturday, highs are going to range from the single digits below zero along the eastern half of the Hi-Line to the mid to upper teens and low 20s in portions of central Montana. It is then going to be even warmer on Sunday as highs are going to be in the mid to upper 20s and low to mid 30s in most locations.
We are also going to have mostly sunny skies and dry conditions on Saturday, and partly to mostly cloudy skies with some isolated snow showers around on Sunday.
On Monday, we are going to have increasing clouds with a chance of snow, generally during the afternoon/evening and generally in locations west of I-15, as a cold front begins to approach our area. It is also going to be mild again on Monday as highs are going to be in the upper 20s and low to mid 30s in a lot of locations. Breezy conditions are also expected on Monday as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 20 mph.
For next Tuesday through Friday, we are going to have partly to mostly cloudy skies with periods of light to moderate snow as multiple disturbances pass through our area. It is also going to be frigid on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday as highs are going to be in the single digits above and below zero in many locations. A small warm-up is then expected next Friday as highs are going to be back in the teens.