Bitter Cold & Blasts of Snow

Posted at 5:36 PM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 21:07:58-05

HELENA — A WIND CHILL WARNING has been issued for the Hi-Line.
A WIND CHILL ADVISORY has been issued for central Montana.
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is in effect for most of the state.

Back to work, back to school for some, and back to an arctic airmass with snow. For parts of the state, the last few days have been relatively mild. Some areas like Great Falls even hit 40 on Monday. That's about to change in a big way as a strong arctic front will move south from Canada and produce snow over the next several days. This latest arctic airmass will drive south into Tuesday morning, many areas will have temperatures dropping below zero once again. Areas of snow will accumulate 1-3" over the lower elevations by Tuesday morning. Snow will diminish through the morning hours with partly cloudy skies by afternoon. However, temperatures will be dangerously cold with highs in the -0s and 0s for most of northern Montana. Southern areas will have highs in the 10s and 20s. Wind chill values could drop to around -40 for some areas. Areas of snow will increase across western Montana on Tuesday night and continue through Wednesday morning. Much of central and northern Montana will not have much if any snow, but temperatures will remain very cold with dangerous wind chills across most of the state. Another round of snow will move across the entire state from west to east on Thursday. The snow will be moderate to heavy at times. Several inches will accumulate with slippery travel. Accumulation on Thursday will likely be between 3-8" for most of the lower elevations. Some warmer air will move into the state briefly, with highs reaching the 30s for southwestern Montana. Temperatures will be warmer on Friday before another cold front crosses through with snow Friday night into Saturday morning. Temperatures will again drop into the 0s and 10s for most of the state but a larger pattern change will likely begin later this weekend. High pressure will move in clearing out the skies and the snow, and temperatures will warm for most locations in the mountains and the plains. Valley locations like Helena and Townsend will likely become inverted with cold air trapped in these lower elevation. Most of next week looks mild and quiet, but we've got to get through this week first.
Stay warm.
Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist