A major storm system will seriously come close to ending Montana’s fire season.  A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY has been issued for the higher elevations into Saturday.  Significant snow and rain will fall almost across Montana, and snow levels will drop considerably low by Friday and Saturday possibly down to the valley floors and some of the higher plains.  A WINTER STORM WATCH is in effect for the mountains of southwest Montana.  An AIR QUALITY ALERT is in effect for the entire state, however the air quality will dramatically improve with the storm and most locations can expect “Good” air quality by late Thursday.  Rain will develop through most of the state by late Thursday, and continue into Friday.  Snow levels will drop through Thursday into Friday.  Besides this being a wet storm, it will be cold as well with highs Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in the 40s and 50s in the lower elevations, and 20s and 30s in the mountains.  Mountain passes will have slushy snow accumulating on road surfaces on Friday.  By Friday night, snow levels could drop down to the valleys and plains.  Saturday will still be cloudy, cool, showery, with mountain snow, but the storm will begin to wind down.  Saturday night, a widespread frost and/or freeze is likely.  Sunday will be partly cloudy and warmer, with highs in the 60s.  Another storm next week will bring more rain and mountain snow, and continue to end this fire season.

Curtis Grevenitz

Chief Meteorologist