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Next Phase of the Storm: Wind & Blowing Snow

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Posted at 6:05 PM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 20:56:01-05

A BLIZZARD WARNING has been issued for Friday for the Rocky Mountain Front.
A HIGH WIND WARNING has been issued for north-central Montana for Friday into Saturday.
A WIND CHILL ADVISORY continues for the Hi-Line.
A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY continues for much of central and western Montana through tonight.

A significant winter storm continues to batter the state of Montana with cold and snow. There still are dangerously cold wind chill values on the Hi-Line. Roads are snow covered and very slipper for much of the state. While snow has eased up in many areas, northeast and western Montana will still pick up several additional inches. The next "phase" of this storm will be wind and eventually warmer temperatures. With all of the freshly fallen, light and fluffy snow, the wind will really create more problems as whiteout conditions and difficult travel will occur. The Rocky Mountain Front and East Glacier area will have the worst wind and thus worst blowing snow issues. Travel is not recommended in these areas. Wind and blowing snow will extend beyond the Rocky Mountain Front though, impacting much of the plains and mountain passes. Friday will be a much warmer day for most of the state. Highs will reach the 30s and 40s with partly cloudy skies, snow showers in the mountains, and a stronger west wind that will help to push out the cold air. As this warm front pushes into northern Montana, there will likely be a rapid rise in temperatures from below 0 to 30 degrees "above" in a matter of a few hours. The wind will continue to cause blowing snow issues into late Friday night. Another cold front will cross through with snow showers Friday night into Saturday morning. Temperatures will again drop into the 0s and 10s for most of the state on Saturday. Saturday night will be cold with lows dropping below 0 for much of the state, but a larger pattern change will likely begin on Sunday. 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. Highs will climb into the 20s and 30s across the plains. However, valley locations like Helena, Lincoln and Townsend will likely become inverted with cold air trapped in these lower elevation. Highs in these places on Sunday and early next week should hold in the 10s and 20s. Most of next week looks mild and quiet with wind over the plains. The quiet, mild break that often is called a January Thaw will likely continue through next weekend. For the final week of January, colder temperatures with snow will return.

Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist