Nov 16, 2013 1:53 AM by Meteorologist Mike Rawlins
A powerful storm system will dump heavy snow on parts of Big Sky Country this weekend. Elsewhere, we'll experience a sharp drop in temperatures.
Even though this storm won't drop tons of snow east of the Continental Divide, it will still have significant impacts on our weather. Much colder air will be moving into the region over the next 24 hours and we'll also continue experiencing strong winds.
Here's a look at the expected snowfall amounts from our in-house Tru Vu Snowfall Forecast model:
Here's a look at the expected snowfall amounts for Cascade County from our in-house Tru Vu Snowfall Forecast model:
Snow will begin falling this evening over the Northern Rockies and in the mountains of central Montana and should become rather heavy overnight and into Saturday. At lower elevations, a few snowflakes are possible overnight and early Saturday, however, it looks like our best opportunity for seeing a quick dusting will come Saturday afternoon as the cold front moves through.
Timing out the cold front's arrival is key in determining just how warm it'll get on Saturday before temperatures plummet. Right now, it appears the front will cross the Canadian border around 9a.m. and move just south of U.S. Highway 2 around 11 a.m. From there, it'll slide south through Great Falls, Helena and Lewistown by 3 p.m. and reach southern Montana during the evening hours. You'll notice once the front moves through your area, because winds will shift to the northwest and temperatures will immediately begin falling.
As temperatures fall into the teens Saturday night, gusty winds will push wind chill values to near zero. Those strong winds will also create areas of blowing/drifting snow, limiting visibility under one mile at times. Drivers should be prepared for extreme winter driving conditions tonight and through early Sunday.
Stay with STORMTracker Weather for continuous coverage of this winter storm.
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