Snowfall and Chilly Weather in Northern Montana

Bryan Dijkhuizen

Snow continues to fall over the region, gradually fading from the northwest to the south. Throughout the day, cold air creeps into the region, causing temperatures to decline steadily throughout the day. Winds will be moderate to gusty throughout the day. Temperatures will remain cold into the early hours of Thursday morning.

It will be extremely chilly at times because of the wind chill factor.

The surface front for the present storm system is moving southeast across southwest Montana and into Wyoming. Winds from the north continue to blow behind the front.

A significant amount of snow continues to fall, particularly on slopes that face north. In conjunction with the front, cold air from behind descends into the area, resulting in usually declining temperatures throughout the day.

The maximum temperatures today are around 20 to 30 degrees below usual. As a result of a strong northerly gradient aloft and mixing to the surface, some widespread breezy to gusty winds are expected. Wind chill temperatures have been a source of worry, resulting in the issuance of wind chill alerts for the affected area.

It is projected that the peak temperatures tomorrow will only reach the single digits. Temperatures are expected to remain cold through Thursday morning.

However, a weak disturbance moving over Southern Canada and into the Northern High Plains on Thursday afternoon/night is projected to drive a weak, backdoor cold front across the CWA for the remainder of the week.

This cold front will assist to guarantee that temperatures remain significantly below average for at least one more night on Thursday night. Following the passage of the aforementioned cold front, surface winds will rise across the plains of Central and North Central Montana on Thursday, although these winds are forecast to stay below the high wind thresholds.

Because high temperatures will stay below freezing on Thursday, some small drifting snow is expected as a result of the increased winds, but confidence in how widespread the drifting will be is too low to expect any winter highlights.

In most of the CWA, high temperatures are predicted to return to above-freezing levels by Friday, with temperatures in the 40s to maybe low 50s by the weekend.

With probabilistic guidance currently indicating a 75 percent or greater chance of high winds occurring along the Rocky Mountain Front, portions of Glacier County, and portions of the Montana Hwy 200 corridor in Central Montana, winds on Saturday over the plains of Central and North Central Montana will need to be closely monitored for the possibility of future High Wind Highlights.

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