Prepare for Unpleasantries: Wind & Snow

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Posted at 5:08 PM, Jan 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-19 20:36:57-05

A HIGH WIND WATCH has been issued for the East Glacier area and along the Rocky Mountain Front for this weekend.
A WINTER STORM WATCH has been issued for the Highwood and Little Belt Mountains for Sunday into Monday.

Most of January so far has been pretty quiet for much of Montana with no significant snow, arctic outbreaks or wind events. There are several storms lined up in the Pacific that will head towards Montana this weekend and next week with a bit more snow and wind, but none of these storms are expected to have a severe impact on the state. The combination of strong wind and lighter snows will make it rather unpleasant to be outside at times. Significant snow is likely for the mountains but accumulation will be on the lighter side in the lower elevations. Friday and Saturday will be quiet and seasonably cool with highs in the 20s and 30s. Clouds will increase Saturday ahead of another front. This storm system will bring widespread light snow to much of Montana Saturday night into Sunday. A light accumulation of a few inches is possible. The wind will be the worst part of this storm with most of the state rather windy (gusts 40-50mph) on Sunday with areas of snow continuing into the night. The central mountains could see upwards of 12". Driving conditions at times later Sunday will be impacted by the snow and wind. Slightly colder temperatures with highs in the 20s will move in for Monday. Another fast moving minor storm could hit the state late Monday night into Tuesday, with yet another system of more wind than snow Wednesday into Thursday. A light accumulation of a few inches and strong wind are likely. The rest of January looks more like January than the first few weeks of the month. There will be more opportunity for snow and colder but not brutally cold temperatures until the final day of the month or the start of February. That's when temperatures could drop below zero again.

Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist