Weather Forecast: Mild and active weather this weekend

Posted at 5:23 AM, Dec 18, 2020

MISSOULA — A mostly dry day is expected Friday for valley locations with a few light snow showers lingering in the mountains. Highs Friday will top out in the upper 30s to low 40s.

Starting tonight and moving through the weekend, several storm systems will move through western Montana bringing a variety of impacts.

1st System: Friday night into Saturday morning another round of mountain snow and valley rain/snow will move through western Montana. Mountains could pick up another 4"-to-6" of snow. The best chance for accumulating snow in the valleys will be in northwest Montana, but still, very little snow accumulation is expected.

Drier conditions will then develop through the day Saturday with highs remaining in the upper 30s to low 40s.

2nd System: Saturday night into Sunday an atmospheric river will set up. This will bring widespread precipitation and warmer temperatures to the northern Rockies. Mountains could see moderate to heavy snow Saturday night into Sunday morning with 6-14" possible. However, as snow levels rise to around 7,000 ft. even mountain passes could see precipitation change over to a rain/snow mix. Valleys will once again see precipitation start out as rain/snow before changing over to all rain.

Taking a quick look at the week of Christmas. Even though what little snow we have left in the valleys will melt through the weekend, we can't rule out a white Christmas just yet. Models are showing a cooler system along with snow chances moving in Monday night into Tuesday. However, how strong this system will be and how much snow is yet to be determined. We'll keep you updated on this moving through the weekend and keep your fingers crossed!