Lethally cold wind chill values with arctic air is moving into Montana.  Temperatures are plummeting right now, falling through the -0s and -10s already.  Lows tonight across the state will be between -20 and -40.  Wind chill values will be as cold as -50 across the Hi-Line and central Montana.

The “feels like” temperature at 7am Saturday will be between -30 and -50 for almost the entire state.  This is dangerous and deadly cold.  Frost bite on uncovered skin could occur in only a few minutes, and hypothermia could also happen in minutes if not properly dressed.

This is the time to check on your neighbors, the elderly, and your pets.  Frozen pipes could be a problem tonight, so you may want to allow your faucets to drip tonight.

Travel conditions are horrible, as roads are snowpacked and icy.  Because of the recent snow, roads have been narrowed as well, making travel conditions tight.  If you can, avoid travelling completely until it warms up and you have daylight.  If you need to travel, make sure to have a winter survival kit to endure these brutal conditions.  No doubt about it, this cold air is deadly if you’re not properly prepared.

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Saturday will be partly cloudy and very cold, with highs in the -0s to 0s.  Along the Rocky Mountain Front, west winds will increase to about 25mph.  This will sustain the dangerously cold wind chills, but also blow and drift snow over roadways, which will reduce visibility.  Travel will be hazardous all weekend long.

Slowly, warmer air will push into the state on Sunday.  Highs will warm into the 10s and 20s, but wind across the Montana prairies will keep wind chills down around zero and create ground blizzard conditions Sunday into Monday.

The next storm arrives on Tuesday, and with temperatures rising to around 40, there will be a mix of rain and snow in the lower elevations, and more snow in the mountains.  Several inches of accumulation are likely in the higher terrain.  The wind will howl across the state and across all elevations with this storm.  Wednesday is the first day of Winter, and it looks partly cloudy with highs in the 30s, which is fairly tranquil.

Be safe and stay warm!

Curtis Grevenitz

Chief Meteorologist