Warmer Air on the Way, But Still Snowy

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is in effect for Marias Pass and the surrounding mountains, and also for the Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountains up to Lookout Pass.  Although these are the only areas under an advisory, areas of snow will continue to move through the state overnight into Friday.  Low pressure moving through the Pacific Northwest has already produced some snow for the mountains and the Hi-Line on Thursday.  Snow will move out of northeast Montana tonight, but snow in the mountains along and west of the Continental Divide will continue.  Friday, a cold front will slice through the state with wind and snow showers of varying intensity.  Ahead of the front, temperatures will reach the 40s for most of the state.  Snow showers and squalls will likely move across the lower elevations in the afternoon and evening.  Accumulation will mainly be confined to the mountains, although some heavier snow showers could put down a quick 1-2″ in the lower elevations.  Mountain passes will be slick, and more areas could become slippery overnight as the temperatures drop with a little light snow falling.  This weekend will be very nice for most of the state.  Saturday, far eastern Montana will still have some snow early on, but high pressure moving in will push the storm out with increasing sunshine throughout Big Sky Country.  Highs will be chilly, 20s east, 30s to around 40 in the central and western part of the state.  Sunday will be sunny throughout the entire state with highs in the 30s and 40s.  High pressure and slightly above average temperatures will continue into midweek, and some areas will crack the 50 degree mark.  Warmer temperatures will mean snow melting in the lower elevations.  A big March storm is becoming more likely late next week into St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

Curtis Grevenitz

Chief Meteorologist