MISSOULA — An Avalanche Warning has been issued for the St. Regis Basin in the Lookout Pass Zone and the Kootanei/Cabinet Mountain Zone through 7 a.m. Wednesday morning. Recent heavy snow along with gusty winds will will result in widespread avalanche danger Tuesday into Wednesday.
Valley rain and mountain snow will remain in the forecast Tuesday. West-central and southwest Montana will see most of the showers during the morning with the bulk of the precipitation moving into northwest Montana this afternoon. High temperatures today will top out in the upper 30's to middle 40's.
Another round of valley rain/snow and mountain snow will be in the forecast Wednesday. High temperatures will begin to cool, however, still remain above average as highs top out in the middle and upper 30's.
A cold front will bring cooler temperatures along with the potential for snow to all elevations Thursday afternoon and evening. Snow of 1"-to-3" looks likely for valley locations with the bulk of the moisture setting up in west-central Montana. High temperatures will be in the upper 20's to low 30's Thursday.
The parade of storm systems continue Friday and Saturday. Heavy snow is once again expected for the mountains. Precipitation will fall as all snow for the valleys as well, however, due to expected gusty winds in the higher elevations, downsloping looks likely for the larger valleys such as the Flathead, Mission, Missoula and Bitterroot valleys.
Downsloping is a weather process that occurs when a stream of air is forced down a mountain. As the air descends it undergoes a series of changes that lead to a warming and drying effect. For this reason, snow amounts are expected to be light in the valleys. Highs will be in the upper 20's to low 30's Friday and low to middle 30's Saturday as the air warms.
Starting Sunday and continuing into the following week. Models are showing a quick blast of arctic air moving into the northern Rockies. High temperatures to start next week look to only top out in the 10's and 20's with low temperatures falling below zero. Active weather sticks around as well with snow showers remaining in the forecast.