Cold Weather and Scattered Snow Showers Expected in Northern Montana; Wind Chill Warnings in Effect

Bryan Dijkhuizen

Scattered snow showers will persist throughout the day today. The possibility of up to a half inch of fresh snow in a few areas over the mountains and over North-central Montana this afternoon exists. Overall, though, most places will just get a trace of additional snowfall, if any at all.

Temperatures are expected to continue below freezing today and into the night into Thursday. For the next weekend, temperatures will be mild and the wind will be blowing.

This morning, an unusually cold air mass has dropped over the area, with temperatures ranging from roughly 5 degrees above zero to 15 degrees below zero below zero.

As low- to mid-level northerly winds interact with the topography, widespread, very light snow showers are continuing over the area. It is expected that a large upper-level shortwave trough will move through the area today, bringing considerably lower temperatures and mild instability with higher lapse rates aloft.

This afternoon, several snow showers are forecast to return throughout mostly North-central Montana, with the intensity of the showers expected to be boosted when the weather is over terrain.

Forecast soundings show that the available moisture is restricted to a shallow layer at or below the 700 mb level and is thus limited.

Because of this, when snow showers occur, snowfall accumulation is unlikely to be more than a trace of what it was before.

Over higher territory where the gap between cloud base and ground is less, it's possible that a few spots might receive up to one-half inch of snow, which would help to keep snow crystal evaporation under control.

The final remaining winter weather advisory section across southwest Montana will be terminated on a normal basis this morning due to the lack of any additional snowfall effects anticipated for the day. Wind chill warnings are still in force for wind chill readings ranging from -20 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. In many regions, the winds are low and varied, resulting in wind chill readings that are near to the ambient temperatures.

Any increase in wind speeds associated with midday mixing and snow shower activity, on the other hand, will result in cooler wind chill temperatures.

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