Thunderstorms, Fog, Snow, Wind, and Heat: Varying Conditions Across State Today

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Posted at 7:30 AM, Apr 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-05 10:01:54-04

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY has been issued for the Big and Little Belts, Highwood, Bridger and Castle, Gallatin, and Madison Mountains through 12AM Monday

A WINTER STORM WATCH has been issued for Snowy and Judith Mountains through 12AM Monday

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY has been issued for the Bears Paw Mountains and southern Blaine County through 12AM Monday

A WINTER STORM WARNING has been issued for Yellowstone National Park and Bighorn Mountains through Monday afternoon.

A FLOOD WARNING  has been issued for Lodge Creek until further notice


If you didn't win weather bingo yesterday, you certainly have another chance today. We start out our morning with freezing fog and drizzle in the north central plains. Thunderstorms will develop yet again in the southwestern mountainous region this afternoon. Strong winds and temperatures in the 70s dominate the east. Snow is possible for most of western and central Montana tonight through the weekend with Winter Weather Alerts including much of the higher elevations.

Fog and freezing fog is possible in the north central plains this morning. We have a think layer of low-level clouds that will be held in place due to strong up-sloping flow. It's going to be pretty difficult to shake the fog, as Great Falls will only warm to the low 40s today with minimal wind.

Freezing drizzle on the Great Falls Skycam early this morning.
Visibility can get down to below 1/2 mile in isolated locations this morning.

As the upper-level low makes its way through California and Nevada today, it will continue to pump plentiful moisture into western Montana. We will have just enough instability to generate some more thunderstorms in the same areas that have been receiving them over the past couple days. This includes Helena in the early afternoon hours. The chance of a few lightning strikes last through the overnight hours tonight when our rain will turn to a wintry mix.

Temperatures will vary widely today across the state. Cut Bank and areas along the Rocky Mountain Front will be in the 30s. The west and southwest will be in the 50s. North central plains will only get up into the 40s. Finally, the east will exceed 70 degrees once again.

Late tonight starts our snow event. We will see rain transition to a wintry mix and then to snow by tomorrow morning. Snow showers will be heavy at times throughout the day on Saturday, especially in central potions of the state where an upper-level jet streak will assist in creating heavier snow potential. Temperatures will range in the 30s and 40s throughout most of the state, with isolated areas in the east still holding on to above-average highs.

Snow and rain will stick around on Sunday. We will likely see the transition back to rain in Helena during the day. So I don't expect the accumulation from Saturday to stick around too long. We will start warming slightly back up into the mid 40s.

the partial solar eclipse is upon us on Monday. Luckily for western Montana, the precipitation and clouds start to move out that morning, leaving us with partly cloudy skies and warming temperatures to be able to get out and enjoy this rare phenomena. The ecliples will be at its peak around 12:40 PM and the moon will cover just under 1/2 of the sun. Don't forget to get those eclipse glasses. You won't be able to view it otherwise.


Next week looks warmer and drier as we enter a ridging pattern. Models are still varying in how strong the ridge will be, however I think its realistic to say we will be back up into the 60s by mid-week. A small shortwave disturbance pushes through on Wednesday that can generate some isolated light showers.

Helena Temperature Records Today:
High: 77° (1960)
Low: 4° (1936)
AVG: 54/30

Great Falls Temperature Records Today:
High: 76° (1969)
Low: -6° (1975)
AVG: 50/28

Enjoy the wintry weekend!
Joey Biancone

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