Huge winter storm expected to hit most of Montana tonight and tomorrow

Joe Mertens
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The state of Montana should prepare itself as a huge snowstorm is set to begin today and last until late tomorrow in some regions, reports the National Weather Service (NWS).

A Winter Storm Warning, Blizzard Warning, Winter Weather Advisory, Wind Chill Warning, and Wind Chill Advisory will be in effect for different parts of the state, says the NWS.

The Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the western part of the state and will stay in effect until 11 AM MST on Friday for the Flathead and Mission Valleys.

"For the Winter Storm Warning, heavy snow followed by some light freezing rain is expected. Total snow accumulations of 7 to 10 inches and ice accumulations of a light glaze," the NWS released in a statement. The NWS reports that snowfall rates could reach 1 inch per hour at times.

Cities affected by the Winter Storm Warning include Missoula, Polson, Hamilton, Sula, Drummond, Thompson Falls, Libby, and Eureka.

"Travel could be very difficult to impossible. Patchy blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The cold wind chills as low as 10 below zero could result in hypothermia if precautions are not taken," the NWS statement also said.

The NWS says the Blizzard Warning will start at midnight tonight and stay in effect until midnight on Friday.

"For the Winter storm and Blizzard Warning, blizzard conditions expected. Total snow accumulations between 5 and 10 inches at lower elevations and 10 to 20 inches in the mountains. Winds gusting as high as 65 mph. For the Wind Chill Advisory, very cold wind chills. Wind chills as low as 30 below zero," the NWS released in a separate statement.

The Blizzard Warning is in effect for the northern and southern Rocky Mountain Front including other locations like Logan Pass, Bynum, Browning, and Augusta, according to the NWS.

The Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for much of the central part of the state. The NWS says the Advisory will last until 10 PM MST tonight.

"For the Winter Weather Advisory, snow expected. Total snow accumulations between 2 and 5 inches at lower elevations and 5 to 10 inches in the mountains. Winds gusting as high as 35 mph," the NWS said in yet another statement.

Counties affected by the Advisory include Cascade, Meagher, Judith Basin, and Clark, says the NWS.

The Wind Chill Warning is in effect for the eastern part of the state and should be over by noon today. The Wind Chill Advisory is expected to stay in effect until 6 AM MST on Friday, says the NWS.

"The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes," the NWS reported.

The NWS advises that people affected by the Wind Chill Warning and Advisory avoid outdoor activities if possible. If you must go outside, make sure you are dressed accordingly.

For more information, click the following link to go to the National Weather Service website:

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