Lowered air quality, colder in valleys as inversions set up this week in Western Montana

Inversions set up across valleys this week
Posted at 3:06 PM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-10 17:28:27-05

MISSOULA — This week’s focus is not on snow, but on the lack of snow as high pressure develops across our area.

Western Montana will see inversions set up across most valleys through the end of the week thanks to this ridge.

As valley dwellers are mostly familiar with, inversions degrade air quality.

Monday’s air quality has been listed as ‘good’ to ‘moderate’ by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

Expect degraded air quality under these inversions through the end of the week.

Inversions also been cooler air trapped at valley surfaces.

Highs in upper elevations will reach into the 30s and 40s this week, but in valleys, highs will struggle to make it to the mid 20s or low 30s.

Visibility will also be limited under inversions layers, too.

Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for valleys along the Idaho border in the northwest over to the Divide due to light snow and ice accumulation from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

Please drive carefully as roads will be slick!

A few chances of light snow and rain return by the end of the week.

For the northwest corner, spotty showers are expected on and off for most of the week, but these pushes of moisture will be a rain and snow mix in lower elevations and light snow in mountains.

A few isolated showers return to west-central Montana’s forecast by Wednesday and Thursday of this week before a clear weekend sets up for Western Montana.