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Arctic Air to Ease Up

Posted at 5:21 PM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 20:58:36-05

A WIND CHILL WARNING continues for northeast Montana into Thursday.
A FLOOD WARNING has been issued for Choteau do to an ice jam.
A WIND CHILL ADVISORY continues for most of the Hi-Line into Thursday.

Most of Montana woke up to frigid temperatures well below zero on Wednesday morning, and it was colder the farther north. However the arctic air is showing signs of retreat as some places warmed into the 10s and 20s. The arctic airmass and a new Pacific airmass will continue to duke it out over the next several days with parts of Montana warming up while other areas will remain dangerously cold. The warmer air has pushed just east of the mountains but there is a sharp temperature gradient just east and north of the mountains. Over the course of several miles the temperature could change as much as 20-30 degrees. Thursday some of that warmer air will push the arctic air a few more miles to the north and east but don't expect a big warmup if you are up on the Hi-Line. Just a few towns in central Montana will notice warmer air. Thursday will not be as bluebird of a day but skies will be partly cloudy. A weak area of low pressure will move through the state on Friday with a little light snow in the western and central areas in the morning, moving through eastern Montana in the afternoon and evening. A light coating of snow up to 2" is possible in the lower elevations, with the mountains picking up 6" at best. Heading into Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend, the weather will be fairly pleasant for January. The Hi-Line and Canadian border will hold onto the really cold air, while the rest of the state will moderate into the 20s and 30s for highs. Skies will be partly cloudy, and there will not be any severe wind. For the middle of January, I'd say that's a win.
Have a great day.
Curtis Grevenitz