StormTracker Weather

Nov 9, 2012 10:39 AM by Chrissy Kohler - StormTracker Weather Center

Weather Forecast: Wintry weekend ahead

MISSOULA - Winter has certainly arrive in full force here in Western Montana. We've still got more left out of our first storm of the year and behind that some very cold temperatures are on the way for the weekend.

A winter storm warning remains in effect until 5 p.m. for the West Glacier and Potomac-Seeley Lake regions. Total snow accumulations of 6"-8 " are expect in the valleys with 9" to 15" in the mountains and up to 20" over the highest peaks. Winds of 20 mph to 30 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph will allow for blowing snow and reduced visibilities at times.

A winter storm warning remains in effect for the Bitterroot and Sapphire mountains until 5 p.m. Total accumulations of 4" to 6" is expected in the lower elevations with 6" to 8" in the mountains, including Lost Trail and Lolo passes. East-northwest of 15-20 mph will allow for blowing snow and reduced visibilities at times.

A winter weather advisory is in effect until 5 p.m. for the Flathead and Mission valleys. Accumulations of 1" to 2" is expected. Winds of 20 mph to 30 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph will allow for blowing snow and reduce visibilities at times. Flathead Lake could experience freezing spray as well as dangerous boating conditions.

A winter weather advisory is in effect for the Kootenai-Cabinet region until 5 p.m. Total accumulations of 2" to 4" is expected. Gusty east winds will allow for blowing snow and reduced visibilities at times.

A winter weather advisory is in effect for the Lower Clark Fork region until 5 p.m. Additional accumulations of 1" to 3" is possible in the valleys with 4" to 6" in the mountains including Lookout Pass. Winds of 10 mph to 20 mph, with gusts up to 30 mph will allow for blowing snow and reduced visibilities at times leading to dangerous driving conditions.

A winter weather advisory is in effect for the Missoula and Bitterroot valleys. Accumulations of 1" to 3" is possible with higher amounts under strong snow bands. Winds of 15 mph to 20 mph, with gusts up to 35 mph will allow for blowing snow and reduced visibilities at times creating dangerous driving conditions.

Snow showers will continue to be scattered across Western Montana with another round of snow developing mid morning into the early afternoon. And with highs only reaching the upper 20s to mid 30s, snow levels will remain at valley floors. Winds and showers will begin to break up late this afternoon and overnight.

A weak ridge of high pressure will build in this weekend helping to push our winter storm east into the Plains. However, Saturday will still feature mostly cloudy skies with the chance for some stray snow showers, especially through the upper elevations. Sunday looks to dry out more with even a bit more sunshine on the way under partly cloudy skies.

The big issue we'll be dealing with once the tapers off with be the arctic chill. A giant dip in the jet stream will allow the cool air to dive south into Western Montana. Our highs on Saturday and Sunday will only be in the mid to upper 20s. And morning lows, especially on Sunday, will be in the teens and single digits, so bundle up!

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