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Draft Day Snowstorm

24 inches possible in mountains, blowing snow probable
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Posted at 9:15 AM, Apr 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-28 11:15:52-04

With the first pick in the 2022 Meteorological Draft, the state of Montana selects.... MOISTURE! From Snow Clouds University. In all seriousness, the next few days could become a major late spring season snow event for the Treasure State. In fact, there are already winter weather watches and warnings in effect here in Montana.
Currently issued by the National Weather Service:

WINTER STORM WARNING: Much of the snow that will fall in the warned areas, especially the mountains, will be heavy snow. Not only will the rate of snowfall accumulation be "heavy", but the precipitation itself will be wet snow, which is often labeled "heavy snow" referring to the higher weight than it's light and fluffy counterparts. Some mountainous areas may accumulate as much as 24 inches of snow. Within this warned area, wind gusts up to 40 MPH are also likely. Important to note is: While downtown Helena and Great Falls are both within the warned color on watch/warning maps, the warning is currently for higher elevations around town; mainly above 5000 feet.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY: This advisory has been issued due to the expectation of snow at elevations of above 5000 feet in southwestern Montana. At least two inches of snow, and topping six inches is not out of the realm of possibility! Gusty winds of up to 40 MPH are likely, as is around 2 inches in valleys.

Weather for most downtown and population centers in south-central Montana should remain fairly calm during morning and early afternoon hours. Atmospheric conditions will begin to shift during the late afternoon hours as the low pressure center begins moving closer in proximity to southwestern Montana. As commonly attached to low pressure centers like the one approaching Montana today, a cold front will also move alongside this disturbance. Before atmospheric temperatures have the opportunity to drop very much, areas from Helena to Great Falls, and to the north up to Cut Bank and Havre, will see rain, thunderstorms and wind overnight. Rain may be the main form of precipitation overnight, however, by sunrise Friday, Helena and Great Falls may lay eyes on freshly laid coats of wet snow. Snow levels will gradually rise with the addition of daytime heating Friday. Mountain passes will absolutely turn into a "SlopFest", or more simply explained, pretty much sloppy conditions for mostly all mountain passes this weekend. Saturday may see the sun a little more, as intermittent showers continue in the mountains. Sunday more moisture rolls in, as snow levels move back down to around 5000 feet. For your first #MayMonday another atmospheric disturbance shoves its' way into Montana, bringing rain and yet another continuous period of snow in the mountains. By Monday night and early Tuesday, with the loss of daytime heating, snow levels will have dropped significantly, leaving valley floors with a decent chance of seeing snow one last time before temperatures in Montana begin a steady trend of chasing 70 degrees by next Friday. This may start our final permanent push towards a constant spring-like weather pattern, but this is Montana; and we won't rule out any classification of weather event no matter the season! As always: A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition!
Be nice to each other.

- Trey Tonnessen -