STORMTracker Weather

Dec 21, 2012 8:38 PM by Meteorologist Mike Rawlins

Dreaming of a white Christmas? Updated snowfall forecast for MT

Montanans hoping for a white Christmas may get their wish after all.

For several days, forecast models have showed a couple of different scenarios that would bring light snow to Big Sky Country.

However, all the various solutions were quite different from the other, leaving us with little confidence in the weekend forecast.

Those models are in sync now and are showing three different opportunities for snow before Christmas.


A cold front will move south out of Canada allowing much colder air to move into Montana.

Light snow will develop as moisture runs over the colder airmass.

For the evening and overnight hours, the best chance for light snow will be north of a line stretching from Great Falls to Havre.


The image above shows our hi-resolution in-house computer model, indicating snow showers and light snow in our northern counties this evening.


An upper level trough just off the Pacific Coast will swing onshore, pushing moisture inland.

Combined with an upper level disturbance (shortwave) moving through Montana, light snow will develop over the Rockies and push east Saturday night into Sunday.

Light snow accumulation is expected with this band of snow at lower elevations.

The mountains and mountain passes could see as much as 6" of snow during this period.


Our in-house computer forecast model is showing a couple inches of snow possible on the Hi-Line by Sunday evening, with lesser amounts south of Highway 2.


Models indicate an area of low pressure at the surface will scoot across southern Montana/northern Wyoming on Monday.

Northerly winds will develop and light snow should develop across north central Montana.

At this time, it appears this will be a fairly quick snow event, but some locations could see a quick inch or two of accumulation by Monday evening.


Those with holiday travel plans should keep a close eye on the forecast and plan ahead.

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