A WINTER STORM WATCH has been issued for the mountains of central and western Montana for Friday through Sunday.
The changes are happening right before our eyes. Clouds are increasing, the wind is starting to howl, and temperatures are starting a downward trend. The stretch of beautiful fall weather is rapidly ending. A large, cold storm system will affect most of the state from now through the weekend. Significant precipitation in the form of rain and snow will fall across most of Montana. The mountains could see up to a couple of feet, while the lower elevations may receive several inches of snow. Travel will be difficult at times this weekend, especially over the mountain passes. This cold, wet and wintry storm coincides with the opening of general hunting season. Whatever the weekend plans you may have, it will be quite stormy. Friday will turn mostly cloudy with an increasing wind, decreasing temperatures and more showers late in the day. Highs will be in the 40s north, 50s and 60s elsewhere. Light rain will increase through the afternoon and evening. Some snow will mix in near the Canadian border closer to Cut Bank and the Sweet Grass Hills. The mountains will see some snow above about 6000' through the evening. Friday night the snow levels will lower in the western part of the state. Saturday will be cloudy with rain and snow in the lower elevations, isolated thunderstorms, mountain snow, stronger wind and falling temperatures. By afternoon and evening, snow levels will be dropping down to possibly as low as the valleys and plains. Highs will mainly top out in the 40s and 50s. Areas of rain will continue to transition to snow through Saturday night with accumulating snow in the lower elevations. Sunday will be colder with widespread areas of snow. The heaviest of the snow will shift east through the day. Highs will be way down in the 30s and 40s. Wind and snow will make it feel quite wintry for much of the state. Snow will come to an end across western and central areas by Sunday afternoon, but continue for eastern Montana into the night. The storm will move out by Monday morning. Monday will be partly to mostly cloudy and windy with highs in the 40s to around 50. A weaker storm system will spread rain and snow showers through Monday night into Tuesday. Accumulating snow should be confined to the mountains. Tuesday will be blustery with scattered rain and snow showers, with highs in the 40s. There is potential for another significant storm with widespread snow for Wednesday night into Thursday. BIG changes are here.