MISSOULA — Monday marks the first day of winter, however, temperatures will be feeling more like Spring as highs top out in the 40s to low 50s.
A warm front will bring mountain snow and valley rain showers to western Montana Monday morning. The valleys in northwest Montana may be cool enough for precipitation to start out as snow or a rain/snow mix before changing over to all rain.
These showers will clear form south to north today, so west-central and southwest Montana can expect sunshine and very mild temperatures by the afternoon. Northwest Montana will see clouds and showers linger longer into the day.
The one chance to get some valley snow on the ground in time for Christmas will be Monday night and Tuesday. A low pressure system and cold front will move through dropping snow levels back to valley floors. Now not a lot of snow is expected, however, snow accumulations of a couple inches looks possible for the valleys of northwest Montana. West-central and southwest Montana will see scattered snow showers, however, accumulations look to be 1" at most.
After this system, skies will clear and drier weather moves in for the rest of the week. Highs will be right at to slightly above seasonal averages with temperatures topping out in the low to upper 30s through Christmas Day.