As we move further into the month of March, the state of Montana will begin to see warmer temperatures and visits from moist maritime tropical air masses becoming increasingly more common. One of those early spring streams of moisture can be seen on the satellite image loops this morning moving into the pacific northwest. This stream will push a weak wave across northwest Montana this morning, mainly the northern Rocky Mountain Front, seeing light precipitation and some slick spots on roadways. Temperatures around the state will be comfortably warm today, with Helena and Great Falls both pushing 60 degrees. As we move into tonight, heavier moisture will move in from the west. Though the snow levels remain high, mountainous areas from 4500 to 6000 feet will see heavy snowfall mostly occurring after midnight and into the morning hours Tuesday. If bands of moisture make it across the divide, these bands will fall as rain in the valleys. Temperatures Tuesday will remain comfortably warm, nearing the 60s once again in Helena and Great Falls during the mid-day hours. Also occurring during the mid-day hours will be a breakup of clouds across most of northwest Montana and north-central Idaho. Once this breakup occurs, rapid heating will begin, and it's important to remember that such a quick heating often leads to atmospheric instability, as will be the case Tuesday. Thunderstorms are likely depending on how much cloud breakup and heating actually does end up taking place. The main story Tuesday will be the strong winds that blow across most of the state. Quite a few areas have a decent probability of seeing sustained winds of over 40 MPH. It's because of the strength of this potential wind threat that the National Weather Service has already issued a HIGH WIND WARNING for areas including: the Northern Rocky Mountain Front, Eastern Glacier, Eastern Pondera, Southern Rocky Mountain Front, Marias Pass, Bynum, Brady, Choteau, Browning, Heart Butte, Logan Pass, Augusta, Cut Bank, and Conrad. The National Weather Service notes that these particular high winds may move loose debris, damage property and cause power outages, and travel could be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. I highly encourage you to secure loose objects that could be blown around or damaged by the wind. Tuesday night a trough slowly makes it's way across the region. Snow levels will steadily fall overnight. During the early morning hours Wednesday, slick spots could arise as far south as Lost Trail and also in the higher terrain of Lemhi County. After a brief and warm break from much atmospheric actvity Thursday, Pacific Systems will bring showers and mild weather into your weekend. Thank you for trusting #StormTrackerWeather and remember to follow us on Twitter @KTVHNews and me @WXTonn
A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition!
Be nice to each other!
- Trey Tonnessen -