MISSOULA — A brief area of high pressure will set up Thursday. This will lead to dry conditions along with mostly to partly sunny skies. High temperatures will top out in the low to middle 40's.
A cold front will bring snow back to the forecast Thursday night into Friday. The heaviest snow will fall in the mountains along the Montana/Idaho border. Lolo, Lookout and Lost Trail Passes will see around 4"-to-8" by Friday afternoon. The best chance for light snow accumulation in the valleys will once again be for areas closer to the Montana/Idaho border. Thompson Falls, Trout Creek, St. Regis and Superior could see around 1"-to-2". Breezy winds will also develop Friday afternoon behind the cold front with gusts around 20-to-30 mph.
Active weather remains in the forecast through the weekend. Scattered rain/snow showers will be most widespread in northwest Montana Saturday. West-central and southwest Montana will see just light off and on showers.
Starting Saturday night into Sunday morning a period of heavy mountain snow along with widespread valley snow looks likely. During this time frame the valleys across western Montana will have the chance to pick up several inches of snow. By Sunday afternoon the mountains will continue to see snow while the valleys change over to a rain/snow mix as highs top out in the middle to upper 30's.
Snow showers will return to all elevations Sunday night and continue into Monday as snow bands looks to develop. High temperatures will be in the low to middle 30's Monday.