A HIGH WIND WATCH has been issued for north-central Montana from Friday through Saturday.
BIG changes are headed to Big Sky Country this weekend. Record warmth, wind gusts locally higher than 90mph, and a return to winter will be felt over the first weekend of February. Before we get to that storm, a round of snow will move through Montana on Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. This light snow may coat the ground in the lower elevations, with the mountain passes picking up as much as 1-2". People traveling over the mountain passes early on Thursday may have some slippery conditions but the snow will be long gone by the time the sun comes up. Thursday will be another sun filled day with highs in the 40s. West wind will gust up over 40mph across Montana's prairies. Friday a warm front will push into the state with clouds, wind, rising snow levels, and a few showers in the lower elevations. Highs will warm into the 40s and 50s, with wind gusts possibly exceeding 50mph off of the Rocky Mountain Front. Saturday will be a very mild day with record highs possible as temperatures climb into the 50s and 60s. The caveat will be the strong wind on Saturday, with gusts exceeding 60mph across north-central Montana. The windiest locations along the Rocky Mountain Front could have wind gusts exceeding 90mph on Saturday. Driving a high profile vehicle or pulling a trailer could be difficult. Saturday night a sharp cold front will come through the state with crashing temperatures and falling snow. Areas of light snow will linger on Sunday with mostly cloudy skies and cooler temperatures in the 20s and 30s. A significant amount of snow is unlikely at this time, but roads could be icy following the warmth and then a rapid temperature drop. Monday will be even colder with highs in the 10s and 20s and some lingering light snow in the morning across the southern part of the state. Overall the first week of February will bring a return of more typical wintry weather to Montana.
Have a great day.