MISSOULA — For west-central and southwest Montana, light snow showers will continue this morning before clearing by the afternoon with some sunshine peaking through the clouds at times. Northwest Montana will stay mostly dry this morning before an arctic air mass moves from east to west across the divide, bringing snow showers and breezy winds this afternoon and evening.
A weak weather system will pull the cold air and snow south into west-central and southwest Montana tonight into Wednesday morning with several inches of new snow expected across western Montana.
Wednesday will be the coldest day of the week as the arctic air drops high temperatures into the teens and twenties for west-central and southwest Montana and single digits and teens for northwest Montana.
We are looking at the potential for a strong system to impact the northern Rockies Thursday and Friday. The valleys will see their heaviest snow on Thursday, with decreasing snow on Friday, whereas the snow will just continue through Friday in the mountains. Over a 2-day period, the mountains will pick up 2 feet of new snow with some of the highest elevations picking up 3 feet or more of new snow. In that same 2 day period, most of the valleys will pick up 4"-to-8" of new snow. The exception will be for areas in southwest Montana around Philipsburg, Anaconda and Butte. Most of these locations will pick up less than 3 inches of snow in a 2 day period.
A few snow showers will linger Saturday before drier air moves in Sunday and continues into next week.