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Windy & Warmer Except Valley Locations

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Posted at 5:56 PM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-10 20:28:12-05

A HIGH WIND WARNING is in effect for the Rocky Mountain Front and East Glacier areas into Wednesday.
An AIR STAGNATION ADVISORY is in effect for some valleys west of the Continental Divide into Friday.

It's quite the dichotomy for parts of Montana: some areas are windy and much warmer, other areas are calm but cold. It's inversion season here in Montana, and the valley locations have certain ingredients contributing to the buildup of cold air. First there's a lack of wind with high pressure dominating. There's snow on the ground that acts like an insulater. And the sun is at a low angle, so the sun's rays are weak. This all adds up to cold air settling in the valley locations of western Montana. Air quality will become an issue for places like Missoula, Hamilton and Seeley Lake. On the flip side, out across the plains and in the higher elevations there is wind and much warmer temperatures. This pattern, including very dry conditions, will continue through the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. Enjoy it while it lasts because a return to a much colder, snowier scenario will come next week. For Tuesday, strong wind and mild temperatures will continue across the plains while the valleys will be calm and cold. Highs will range from the 10s and 20s deep in the valleys, to the 40s and even a few 50s across the plains. Wednesday will be very similar, with a slight chance of a rain or higher elevation snow shower over the central parts of the state. A minor front will move through Thursday with a few isolated mountain snow showers. It will be windy and mild over the plains, and there may be enough of a pressure change to scour out some of the cold air locked in the valley locations. 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. 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. It looks like this is the January Thaw of 2022.
Have a great day.
Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist