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Spring storm set to impact our area on Wednesday and Thursday

Rain, mountain snow, some wind, and below average temperatures
WHATS AHEAD Evening2 (1).png
Posted at 6:27 PM, May 21, 2024

A WINTER STORM WARNING is in effect for several of the mountain ranges in central and southwestern Montana from 6pm Wednesday until 12pm/6pm Thursday.

A WINTER STORM WATCH is in effect for some of the higher elevations west of I-15 from 6pm Wednesday until 12pm Thursday.

A WINTER STORM WATCH is in effect for the Absaroka, Beartooth, and Crazy mountains from 6pm Wednesday until 12am Friday.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is in effect for some of the lower elevations in southwestern and central Montana from 6pm Wednesday/12am Thursday until 6pm Thursday.

A FLOOD WATCH is in effect for the Highwood and Little Belt mountains from 6pm Wednesday until 12pm Friday.

There are going to be some scattered rain showers and a couple thunderstorms around this evening and tonight, especially before midnight, as a disturbance leaves our area and as a storm system begins to approach our area. We are also going to have increasing clouds and cool temperatures tonight as lows are going to be in the mid to upper 30s and low to mid 40s.

A larger storm system is then going to impact Montana tomorrow and Thursday. For tomorrow, rain/mountain snow showers and some thunderstorms are likely, especially during the afternoon and evening, as this storm system begins to impact our area. There is then going to be widespread rain/mountain snow and a few thunderstorms around tomorrow night. On Thursday, there are going to be scattered areas of rain/snow around during the morning and some pop-up rain showers around during the afternoon and evening as this storm system begins to leave our area.

The snow levels will also drop as we go through tomorrow night and may get as low as 4000 to 5000 feet by Thursday morning, which means that some lower elevation locations will see some snow fly. The snow levels will then gradually rise back up as we go through Thursday. We are also going to have mostly cloudy to overcast skies from Wednesday morning through midday Thursday, with some decrease in the cloud cover Thursday afternoon/evening.

Between Tuesday evening and Thursday evening, a lot of locations in Montana will receive between .25” and 1.5” of precipitation, with the highest precipitation amounts expected in southwestern, south-central, and central Montana.

Between Tuesday evening and Thursday evening, 3-12+” of snow accumulation is expected in the mountains in central and southwestern Montana, with up to 24” of snow accumulation possible on the mountain peaks. This snow will create difficult travel conditions at and above mountain pass level, especially Wednesday night into Thursday morning, so please try and avoid traveling during that time if possible. In the lower elevations, most locations will receive no snow accumulation, but some lower elevation locations, especially those that are near the mountains in central and southwestern Montana, may receive a few inches of snow accumulation through Thursday evening.

The temperatures are also going to cool down some between tomorrow and Thursday as highs are going to range from the upper 40s to the mid 60s tomorrow and highs are going to be in the mid to upper 40s and low to mid 50s on Thursday. It is also going to be breezy in some areas tomorrow night and Thursday as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 20 mph.

There are then going to be some scattered showers and a couple thunderstorms around on Friday, generally during the afternoon/evening, as we are going to be in between disturbances. There is also going to be a good breeze around on Friday, especially along the Rocky Mountain Front, as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 25 mph. We are also going to have partly cloudy skies and warmer temperatures on Friday as highs are going to be in the low to mid 60s in most locations.

The holiday weekend is going to start off on the wetter, cooler, cloudier, and breezier side of things. Showers and some thunderstorms are likely on Saturday and Sunday, generally from Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon, as a storm system passes through our area. We are also going to have increasing clouds on Saturday and partly cloudy skies on Sunday. The temperatures are also going to cool down some between these two days as highs are going to range from the upper 50s to the low 70s on Saturday (warmest temperatures in northeastern Montana) and highs are going to be in the mid to upper 50s and low to mid 60s on Sunday. It is also going to be breezy on these two days as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 20 mph.

Nicer weather is then expected on Memorial Day (Monday) and Tuesday as we are going to have mostly sunny skies, mostly dry conditions, and less wind as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 5 and 20 mph. The temperatures are also going to warm up some over these two days as highs are going to be in the mid to upper 60s and low to mid 70s on Monday and the mid to upper 70s and low 80s on Tuesday.