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A Warmup is Underway

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Posted at 5:37 PM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 20:36:50-05

A WIND CHILL ADVISORY is in effect for northeast Montana tonight into Friday morning.
A HIGH WIND WATCH has been issued for the Rocky Mountain Front across central Montana for Friday evening into Saturday.

The latest arctic outbreak is beginning to ease its grip on Montana. Thursday's high temperatures were 10-20 degrees warmer than the last few days. Overall the pattern across the Pacific and North America is changing. A ridge of high pressure out in the eastern Pacific resulted in a northerly flow over western North America, and arctic air spilled into Montana. Now the flow will come in from the Pacific, bringing in warmer temperatures and wind over the next several days. The warm-up will initially be slow, but the temperatures will pop up this weekend. Friday will have increasing clouds and the wind will ramp up over the Continental Divide and the plains. Highs will range from the 10s and 20s in eastern Montana, to the 30s to around 40 for central and western areas. Some snow showers will fly over the mountains through the day. Warmer air will continue to build into the state through Friday night. Very strong wind will howl through the night on the Divide and across central Montana. Saturday will be partly cloudy, windy and much warmer. The plains and valleys could warm up into the 50s. Don't forget Saturday night to set those clocks forward as Daylight Saving Time goes into effect. Another low pressure will likely move through the state with wet snow or a mix of rain and snow on Sunday. Several more inches will accumulate in the mountains, and the lower elevations especially up on the Hi-line could get a coating of snow. This pattern with storms coming in from the Pacific will continue for most of next week. Significant precipitation will occur in the mountains and mainly west of the Divide, and temperatures will be fairly mild. This pattern is fairly common for the middle of March.

Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist