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Ridge briefly builds, trough strongly responds
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Posted at 8:34 AM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-02 11:23:37-04

First and foremost, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to the atmospheric sciences community and the University of Oklahoma with the tragic loss of three extremely talented meteorology students. Their dedication to the weather field and positive outlook in everyday life, made it a brighter place!

Sunshine will be seen in most of Montana on Monday. Temperatures will be comfortably in the mid 60's. A weak disturbance that originally appeared to be heading east, in a direction that would've taken it over Montana, has turn much more southeasterly. Areas in far southwestern Montana may see precipitation and/or some snow today, which is why the National Weather Service has issued a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for areas covered in the purple color on your Watch/Warning map. The state should remain mostly dry until later Monday afternoon when rising instability could allow for some lightning strikes and some rogue thunderstorms. Tuesday, precipitation enters Montana from the south and will fall as snow for most of southwestern Montana, central Montana will see precipitation but ground temperature will most likely be too warm to substantiate any meaningful snow accumulation in valley areas. Wednesday into Thursday morning a ridge will attempt to build over the Treasure State, allowing for a more stable atmosphere, sunshine, and warming temperatures. Multiple places in Montana might see temperatures above 80 on Thursday into the early afternoon, but that's when our weather trend will flip completely back in the other direction. It appears that a trough, this one being stronger than the mid-week ridge, will begin to beat down the ridge by late afternoon Thursday, and at that point rain will be rolling into Montana as well. The digging trough and precipitation will produce a rain-cooled atmosphere on Friday, which will start our next trend of below-average temperatures and cloudy wet days. Next week our temperatures are certainly trending towards below average for most of the week, and though it remains to be finalized exactly what forms of moisture, the rate of fall, and the direction from which the systems will arrive; I'm mostly confident that next week will be wet. Before then, the great news is that we'll see sun today, and a lot of it Wednesday/Thursday. For the first time since I moved to Montana, it looks like I just might break a sweat running outside this week! As always: A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition.
Be nice to each other.

- Trey Tonnessen -