Warm October About to Turn Wintry

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Posted at 4:29 PM, Oct 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-18 20:18:27-04

An AIR STAGNATION ALERT has been issued for areas west of the Continental Divide into Thursday.
A FIRE WEATHER WATCH has been issued for northcentral and northeast Montana for Thursday.

It was nice while it lasted, it's not over yet but do not expect this coming weekend's weather to be anything like the last few. Montana and the West have been in a pattern for much of October with high pressure overhead. This high pressure will continue through Wednesday, but changes will start to be noticeable late this week as the high pressure moves out. This weekend will turn quite stormy and much colder with rain mixing with and changing to snow even in the lower elevations. Wednesday will be the last exceptionally beautiful day. Under mainly clear skies, highs will warm into the 60s and 70s. This could be the last really warm day until next spring. Some areas may even approach record highs in the mid to upper 70s. Thursday a weak cold front will bring partly cloudy skies, stronger wind and somewhat cooler temperatures. Strong wind, low humidity and dry fuels have prompted a FIRE WEATHER WATCH for the potential of grass fires getting out of control in the conditions. Highs will still be in the 60s to around 70. Friday will turn mostly cloudy with an increasing wind, decreasing temperatures and more showers late in the day. Highs will be in the 60s. A strong cold front with moisture will move through the state this weekend. Saturday will be cloudy with rain, isolated thunderstorms, mountain snow, stronger wind and falling temperatures. By afternoon, snow levels will be dropping down below 5000' to possibly as low as the valleys and plains. Highs will mainly top out in the 40s and 50s. Areas of rain will continue to transition to snow through Saturday night with the potential of accumulating snow in the lower elevations. Sunday will be colder with areas of snow. Highs will be way down in the 30s and 40s. Wind and snow will make it feel quite wintry for much of the state. Cold and somewhat snowy weather will continue into Monday, with highs more in the 20s and 30s. Most of next week heading to Halloween will be much colder with a series of storms that will keep the weather active with snow in the mountains and a mix in the lower elevations.

Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist