WEATHER DISCUSSION: Today. The temperatures continued to increase with highs in the 40’s and lows in the 30’s. Dry weather continues through this evening until early morning precipitation settles over the region. This precipitation includes freezing rain for the valleys of Helena and Southwestern Montana. Breezy conditions are also expected to increase through the night and continue into the weekend.
The upper-level ridge in the area continued through this evening, allowing for clear skies and warm temperatures across North-central, Central, and Southwestern Montana. Tonight however, the ridge will begin to flatten bringing light mountain snow and lower elevation rain. The chance for precipitation continues through Thursday evening into early Friday morning.
The main concern through morning tomorrow will be light rain freezing on roadways Helena Central and SW MT valleys which has prompted a Winter Weather Advisory from 6 AM to Noon Thursday. This will impact the Thursday morning commute by causing slick roads. In the early afternoon, conditions will improve as the roads begin to warm up. The main areas that have the highest risk of freezing drizzle are areas where the air temperatures might be above freezing but the ground temperatures are at or below freezing. There will also be a slight chance of freezing drizzle for the Hi-Line region Thursday mid-morning to Noon. Since the chance of and duration for this freezing drizzle is low, a Winter Weather Advisory is not being considered at this time. This will need to continue to be monitored.
Saturday through next Wednesday, expect breezy and gusty surface winds through North Central Montana, especially in the wind prone locations along the Montana Hwy 200 corridor and Rocky Mountain Front. Despite these breezy and gusty winds, high temperatures will remain near normal each day throughout the period. Daily chances for mountain precipitation will exist with the best chance for measurable precipitation falling at lower elevations in Southwest and Central Montana occurring Saturday night through Sunday morning.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy with lows in the 20’s to 30’s and 5 to 10 mph winds.
THURSDAY: Mountain snow and lower-elevation rain. Cloudy with highs in the upper 40’s with lows in the 30’s. 10 to 20 mph winds with gusts up to 30 mph.
FRIDAY: Chance of rain. Mostly sunny then partly with highs in the 50’s and lows in the 30’s. 10 to 20 mph winds with gusts up to 30 mph.
SATURDAY: Chance of rain. Mostly sunny then mostly cloudy with highs in the 50’s and lows in the 30’s. 5 to 10 mph winds.
SUNDAY: Chance of rain and mostly cloudy with highs in the upper 40’s and lows in the 30’s.
MONDAY: Chance of rain. Partly sunny then mostly cloudy with highs in the upper 40’s and lows in the 30’s.
TUESDAY: Slight chance of rain. Partly sunny with highs in the upper 40’s.