WEATHER DISCUSSION: Rest of Sunday through Monday night expect scattered light rain showers across North Central Montana mainly along the Hi-Line and MT/Canadian border. Lows will be in the 30’s with cloudy skies across the area. Precipitation moves in tonight for the region in the form of light rainfall. This system quickly moves through with a brief break in the precipitation across the region except for area’s along the Rocky Mountain Front where precipitation from rain transitions to snow below 6000 feet. Monday night through Tuesday morning will bring an upper level low from the Pacific Northwest that will dig south and east across the Northwest US from Tuesday afternoon and night.
Tuesday through Thursday, there is a high likely hood for the first significant snowfall event during this time period for locations across Central Montana. Temperatures are going to be well below normal for this time of year beginning Tuesday night for the state as a strong cold front starts to make its way across the region bringing cooler air. High temperatures are forecasted to be in the 20s and lows in the teens.
According to NWS, the “Weather Prediction Center (WPC) Probabilistic Winter Storm Severity Index currently shows a 70 to 90% likelihood of winter weather conditions to bring minor impacts across Central Montana for Wednesday.” Snowfall is likely to occur for Central Montana and along the Rocky Mountain Front for this timeframe. Snowfall amounts for 4 to 10 inches for the Great Falls region in 48 hours has a high likelihood of occurring. There will be Winter Storm Watches from 3 PM Tuesday through 6 PM Wednesday for along the Rocky Mountain Front. For Central Montana, a Winter Storm Watch is issued for 6 PM Tuesday through 6 AM Thursday as primary timing of winter weather impacts if for the Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning commute. Expect winter weather driving conditions during this time period such as reduction in visibility due to falling snow. Periods of heavy snowfall could occur in higher elevations for the mountain ranges across Central Montana, bringing higher snowfall total amounts and lingering snowfall through Thursday afternoon.
Expect the snow to gradually come to an end from Friday into Saturday. The main concern Friday into Saturday morning will be how cold it could be. Fresh snow cover and any clearing skies could allow temperatures to be a bit colder. By Sunday, slightly warmer air will start to move back but still temperatures will be significantly below normal.
SUNDAY NIGHT: Cloudy with lows in the 30’s and 5 to 10 mph winds.
MONDAY: Chance of rain and mostly cloudy. Highs in the 50’s and lows in the 20’s to 30’s. 10 to 20 mph winds.
TUESDAY: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Mostly cloudy then cloudy with highs in the 30’s and lows in the teens. 10 to 20 mph winds.
WEDNESDAY: Snow and cloudy with highs in the 20’s to 30’s and lows in the teens.
THURSDAY: Chance of snow and mostly cloudy with highs in the 20’s and lows in the teens.
FRIDAY: Chance of snow and mostly cloudy with highs in the 20’s and lows in the 10’s.