Posted: Dec 7, 2012 10:25 AM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News
MISSOULA- With the latest stretch of mild weather coming to an end, Montana drivers are faced with winter driving conditions today. And also snowfall amounts haven't been heavy, driving has been tricky, especially on the passes of Western Montana.
Lookout Pass on Interstate 90 had some of the worst conditions overnight, with a jackknifed semi closing the freeway entirely for a time at the border late Thursday night. A second semi wreck caused more closures near St. Regis early Friday morning.
Conditions have improved this morning, but the Montana Department of Transportation says drivers are still finding snow, frost and ice on the road east to Missoula.
More snow covers the pavement in most areas from Drummond east to Livingston, with blowing and drifting snow over Bozeman Pass.
U.S. Highway 93 is snow-covered from the top of Lolo Pass to Conner, with scattered snow, ice and slush through the Bitterroot north to Missoula and Kalispell. More snow is reported north of Kalispell.
Drivers on U.S. Highway 2 area hitting some areas of snow west of Kalispell, with blowing and drifting snow and reduced visibility over Marias Pass.
Montana Highway 200 also has areas of snow and ice, with wet roads from Plains west to Trout Creek. Snow was continuing to fall in the Upper Blackfoot, with blowing and drifting snow on Rogers Pass.
Snow has impacted driving as well on MacDonald Pass and Interstate 15 from Butte north through Helena.
Conditions are expected to remain wintry right through the weekend.
The National Weather Service has posted a Winter Weather Advisory for all of Western Montana through 11 p.m. tonight, with the exception of the Upper Clark Fork Valley and Butte. Up to a foot of new snow could fall in the mountains, with 2" to 5" in some of the valley locations.
A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for the I-90 corridor west of St. Regis over Lookout and Fourth of July Pass in Idaho.