Oct 28, 2011 5:25 PM by Erin Yost (StormTracker Weather Center)
MISSOULA- Our next system will arrive overnight into Saturday, bringing precipitation, wind & lowered snow levels.
First, let's start off with the advisories. A Wind Advisory is out for the Missoula & Bitterroot Valleys from midnight until 9 a.m. Saturday where westerly winds of 25mph will be felt with gusts in the 40 mph to 45 mph range. This will be particularly true for the western edge of the Bitterroot Valley around 6am Saturday.
A Winter Weather Advisory is out for the West Glacier Region (Marias Pass) from 9pm to 9am Saturday. We'll see minor accumulation in the tune of 2"-4", but with gusty winds, driving along with reduced visibilities could become a problem.
Otherwise, looks like by Saturday late morning, snow levels will be down around 4,000' across northwest Montana with 5,000' for the west central & southwest portions. Look for 1"-3" of slushy snow for Lolo, Lookout & even Marias Passes with as much as 5" for higher elevations in the Swans, Flathead & Mission Mountains (this includes GNP & the Bob Marshall Wilderness area). Northwest Montana will clear out a bit first (probably by the afternoon).
Sunday, we'll dry out and clear up a bit more with highs slightly warmer in the low to mid 50s.
It's looking more and more likely for our next system on Halloween for western Montana. Expect scattered mountain snow & mainly valley rain with highs in the mid to upper 40s & lows in the upper 20s.
Much of next week looks dry with the potential for valley fog once again.