MISSOULA — It’s time to say goodbye to the warm, calm weather and prepare for a potential snowstorm.
A cold front will drop out of Canada Thursday morning, but cooler temperatures and rain will first move in to Northern Montana.
By Thursday afternoon, widespread showers will move into Western Montana.
Another low-pressure system is expected to drop out of Canada on Friday, and cooler temperatures will follow.
The rain will turn to snow in upper elevations Friday night through Saturday morning.
Heavy, wet snow will be likely for the Rockies down into parts of upper elevation valleys.
A Winter Storm Watch remains in effect for these areas until Sunday morning.
Wind will also pick up with this incoming low, and windy conditions are expected to last Friday through Saturday.
A High Wind Watch will also be in effect for parts of Western Montana during the weekend.
Wind coupled with wet, heavy, falling snow will make travel difficult -- especially in upper elevations.
We could see damage from wind and snow across parts of Western Montana that are closer to the Divide.
Hazards include: downed power lines and trees, hazardous back-country recreation, difficult travel conditions, power outages, and damage to docks and marinas.
Keep these hazards in mind and be prepared for the severe weather.
We will keep you updated online and on-air with any changes to the forecast.
We will continue tracking what is setting up to be a historic winter storm event.