HELENA — A WIND CHILL ADVISORY is in effect for a large area of west-central Montana including Helena, Great Falls, and Butte. This particular advisory was issued by the National Weather Service because of the dangerous temperatures and wind chill values that are widespread across most of the state this morning. Whether winds are impacting your region specifically at this moment, temperatures remain quite cold, especially across the Northern Rockies; and will remain cold Thursday morning as well. It will be necessary for your own survival, and the health of livestock, that you bundle up and stay warm, while also ensuring livestock have shelter and a heat source. If you can, I'd suggest avoiding outdoor activities that don't have to be completed today (Wednesday) or tomorrow morning (Thursday). Our region will begin a warming/moderating trend later this week.
Areas of heavy snow pushed through the state Monday night into Tuesday. Higher elevations and passes like MacDonald Pass and Monarch Canyon appeared to be quite treacherous for car travel after first light Tuesday morning. After looking at the pattern and development of a few of the showers from the past few days, some, especially Sunday's showers, seemed to develop due to atmospheric instability. This pattern seems to be possible again today. Wind chill values will still be dangerous as the sun fully rises this morning, but won't be extreme like we saw in areas overnight. At one point during the evening, MacDonald Pass wind chill monitor was reading twenty below zero. The WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY that was issued for southern Montana overnight has been allowed to expire as the threat for snow today has mostly come to an end. Tomorrow our next WEATHER MAKER arrives in the form of a low-pressure system as a digging trough makes its way through Montana. The danger from the system Thursday is that it rolls through as high winds will be present across quite a few areas in the state. Due to this, what would usually be a pretty mild event, may turn quite treacherous when blowing snow becomes widespread on roads that may be filled with many out-of-state visitors here for spring break. Friday seems like it will be mostly precipitation free as we will begin the process of warming. The Pacific is becoming increasingly active and will help move us toward a more spring-like climate into Saturday. High winds will continue Saturday, alongside mostly cloudy skies and a warmer Pacific Flow. The great news for Saturday is that the warming pattern will continue throughout the daytime hours. As you go to bed Saturday night remember to spring your clocks forward as daylight savings time takes effect at 2:00 AM Sunday morning. Some areas of the state will cool Sunday allowing the possibility for snow to once again soil their warm March spring plans. Monday appears to be warmer for almost everyone in Montana, but rain showers and rain/snow mixing are a slight possibility for some. Tuesday the precipitation threat seems to be strictly rain, though the possibility remains low for now.
Please don't hesitate to reach out to me or Curtis with any weather questions, observations, pictures or ideas.
My twitter handle is @WXTonn
Have an incredible Wednesday. As always:
A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition!
Be nice to each other and stay weather aware!
- Trey Tonnessen -