Feb 17, 2014 8:05 PM by Meteorologist Mike Rawlins
Thanks for checking out the STORMTracker Weather Blog on this Monday! A lot of us are enjoying the warmer temperatures, but we're all pretty tired of those endless winds. A moist, active flow aloft is responsible for the gusy winds east of the Rocky Mountains and the heavy snow falling in the mountains.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of what's head, I wanted to share a viewer photo that had me chuckling today. Jason Webb sent us this photo of a melting snowman he and his family built in Great Falls last week. Jason says it's been so windy that the head fell off on Monday!
If you're looking for some relief from the wind, you'll have to wait until midweek. The jet stream remains right over Montana and strong winds will continue through Wednesday. Here's a look at the forecast wind gusts on Tuesday at noon:
Changes are ahead and some of you won't like 'em. Winter is far from over and Mother Nature will remind us of that later this week. I'm eyeing a change in the upper air pattern that will allow colder air to return to Big Sky Country. I don't think it's going to get nearly as cold as we were two weeks ago, but you will notice the drop in temperatures. It all begins with a cold front arriving Wednesday. From there, our temperatures will tumble in the days to follow, with the coldest air settling in by early next week.
Computer forecast models vary in how cold they have temperatures getting by early next week. Right now, it looks like high temperatures will fall below zero again and overnight lows will dip into the single digits above zero. Here's how the GFS (American global model) handles this cold air. This is the temperature anomaly forecast (departure from average) for 5 p.m. Monday, February 24:
With the colder air will come chances for snow across the Treasure State. I'm not confident in snow amounts at this time, but I expect we'll see a little snow at lower elevations east of the Rockies. The mountains will certainly see fresh powder in the days to come, so skiers and snowboarders should look forward to hittin the slopes next weekend.
We'll continue monitoring new data as it comes in and update our forecast in the coming days.
Have a wonderful evening,
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