Hazardous driving conditions return with our next winter weather system Tuesday

Rain and wintry mix turn roadways icy Tuesday PM
Posted at 3:35 PM, Nov 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-18 17:35:38-05

MISSSOULA — You have probably noticed the clouds building into Western Montana this afternoon and evening.

After a sunny start and a relatively calm weekend, we expect changes to move into our forecast tonight and tomorrow morning.

Rain moves in tonight ahead of a cold front pushing in from the west.

This means upper elevation passes will see snow form tonight and tomorrow morning.

A cold front passes through early on Tuesday morning.

Temperatures won’t take a dramatic drop at first, but snow levels can be expected to recede down to about 5,000 feet Tuesday afternoon.

Wind will pick up across West-Central and Northwest Montana Tuesday night, and patchy blowing snow will reduce visibility through upper elevations.

Highs in valleys will only reach the low 40s through Tuesday afternoon.

While lower elevations stay rainy through the early morning and afternoon hours of Tuesday, we can expect to see rain turn to snow on Tuesday afternoon down into upper elevation valleys.

Rain turns to wintry mix and snow Tuesday night for lower elevation valleys.

Snow accumulation will be limited in valleys like Kalispell, Missoula, and Hamilton, but as temperatures plummet Tuesday night into Wednesday, roads will become slick across these valley floors.

So it isn’t really the snow we are worried about (besides patchy blowing snow in upper elevations-reducing visibility), it will be the icy road conditions.