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Hold down the outdoor decorations; wind, rain, and snow return this weekend

Winter Weather Advisories and Wind Advisories in effect Saturday
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Posted at 3:40 PM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 17:40:37-05

MISSOULA — Clouds and mountain snow took us into the end of the week forecast.

Now we are following yet another round of moisture moving in late Friday night through Saturday.

This round of rain and snow is prompting Winter Weather Advisories for the I-90/ HWY-200 corridor west of Missoula from late tonight through Saturday morning.

These areas under the advisory will see ice accumulation in lower elevations and 2-4” of snow accumulation on passes.

The second area under a Winter Weather Advisory is West Glacier, Essex, Bigfork, and Seeley/Swan Lake areas.

These areas will see 2-4” of snow accumulation as well.

The biggest impacts with this round of moisture will be slick roadways AND reduced visibility.

Breezy conditions pick up early Saturday morning, and drifting and blowing snow will reduce visibility and add to slick spots on roadways.

This round of moisture moves in and out pretty quickly, and we will likely see a few breaks in moisture and clouds by Saturday early afternoon.

By Saturday evening, another round of moisture enters our area from the west.

It is like Groundhog Day as this pattern continues with the Saturday-Sunday round of moisture bringing rain to valleys and snow to upper elevations.

While we will see a few snowflakes make it to valley floors, we are not expecting much accumulation.

The biggest concerns will be slick roads and sidewalks from refreezing during overnight hours, but daytime highs remain in the low 40s throughout the weekend.

As of right now, the best chances we have of a white Christmas occur with the push of cooler and moisture Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Temperatures in all elevations will allow for accumulation, but it is to early to tell exactly how much moisture we are expecting (i.e. uncertain accumulation amounts as of now).

Things dry up and stay on the cooler side Tuesday-Thursday as highs even in valleys remain at or below freezing.

Christmas Day some models have slight chances of snow for Christmas night, but our best bet to have at least 1” of snow on the ground at all elevations before the 25th still comes Monday night/Tuesday morning.

Time will tell early next week!