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Transition to warmer temps could pose challenges for Friday travelers

Posted at 9:58 PM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 09:04:17-05

LOLO — It was an interesting Thursday for driving across Western Montana, as the continued heavy snow has made it difficult for plow crews to keep up.

But generally the main roads are in fair driving shape headed into the overnight hours.

Highway 93, Interstate 90, U.S. 12 and Montana 200 have all continued to be snow-packed and icy.

While there have been some accidents and disabled vehicles, such as semis, generally conditions aren't too bad if you have that winter driving experience.

That's likely because there have been fewer people on the roads, as many are still digging out from the initial dump of snow.

Side roads and streets are another matter, especially in Missoula so use patience and keep a close eye out for pedestrians — and even bikes — that might be sharing the cleared lanes.

The real challenge is likely to come in the overnight hours and into Friday's commute, with temperatures climbing and some of those snow showers transitioning into freezing rain.

It's best if you plan extra time for the morning, especially if you're coming through traditional trouble spots like the Lolo S curves, where a single mishap can affect hundreds of commuters.

The passes along the Divide continue to have some challenges with blowing and drifting snow, and windblown snow could be the real problem for drivers on longer trips Friday, so be ready for limited visibility, slow down, and make sure you've got emergency supplies on board.