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Warm Ridge Over the West

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Posted at 5:01 PM, Jan 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-12 20:30:07-05

January Thaw 2022 continues with yet another mild day, melting snow, and sloppy streets. A ridge of high pressure over the west has pushed the jet stream to the north of Montana, allowing for a big warm-up from earlier in the month. Temperatures were a good 10-20 degrees above average, melting more snow. Even the valley locations that had been dealing with inversions have warmed. After treacherous road conditions earlier on Wednesday west of the Continental Divide, temperatures have warmed enough so icy roads have just become wet. Some areas in the valleys like Helena will have temperatures drop below freezing and slush could turn icy by Thursday morning. Most of Thursday will be quiet and mostly cloudy for the state, but a minor front will move through late in the evening with a chance of snow. Snow showers could accumulate up to 1-2" Thursday night in the lower elevations, with up to 8" in the Little Belt Mountains. Snow showers will wind down early on and the rest of Friday will be partly cloudy and windy with highs in the 30s and 40s. Another minor front with a few snow showers are possible on Saturday, but don't expect any accumulation of snow or a need to shovel/plow. Sunday and MLK Day on Monday will be seasonably mild and quiet. Toward the middle or later portion of next week, harsh winter weather will return and should remain active and very cold through the end of January.

Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist