Feet of snow forecasted for some Western Montana mountains

Ringing in the New Year with more winter weather
Posted at 4:17 PM, Dec 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-31 18:17:18-05

MISSOULA — Well... it is finally here.

The winter storm we have been tracking has arrived in Western Montana bringing rain, snow, and wintry mix with it.

The New Year will start off a little slick in most parts of our area!

Heavy mountain snow continues through Thursday morning.

We are still tracking active Winter Weather Advisories through almost all our area. The only places in Western Montana that aren’t under an advisory are the Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys.

Rain and snow will be mixing into these valleys, so slick roads are still a possibility. Just because they are not under an advisory, doesn’t mean roads won’t be slick or slushy.

The rest of our area that is under a the Winter Weather Advisory has already seen bands of heavy snow and wintry mix this afternoon.

Snow totals will continue to climb in upper elevations mountains. Some mountains could even be totaling in FEET of snow by the end of this storm.

The following totals are forecasted through the end of the Winter Weather Advisory expiration on Thursday at 5 AM:

Lookout Pass- 12-18", Valleys across I-90 and HWY 200 west of Missoula- 2-5"
Lost Trail and Sapphire Mountains 6-12", Bitterroot Mountains 1-2'!
Flathead Valley 1-2"
Essex to Marias Pass 6-12"
HWY 83 Swan Lake to Bigfork 3-6"

The Winter Weather Advisory for the following areas expires Wednesday at 11 AM:

HWY 93, Stryker to Whitefish 5-10"
Eureka to Libby 3-6"

On top of heavy, falling snow, drifting and blowing snow will be possible especially on New Year's Day (Wednesday) as gusts pick up across West-Central and Northwest Montana.

Plan for rapidly changing weather and road conditions.

Please have a plan for your New Year's Eve travel if you are out and about tonight! It would be a good idea to have a backup or alterative ride option if you are out celebrating the new year tonight!
This winter storm will be packing a punch on and off these next few days, so just because it looks clear at a certain time, doesn’t mean it has completely passed. Bands of snow and wintry mix will continue to move through on and off through the end of the weekend.

Below are some resources for up-to-date travel and weather information. Please be sure to follow us on Facebook for updated information as well!