MISSOULA — These persistent light snow showers will continue for west-central Montana Wednesday with another inch or two possible.
Northwest Montana will remain dry but very cold as highs top out only in the single digits and teens. Factor in the wind chills and temperatures will feel below zero through the day.
Light snow will continue Wednesday night for west-central Montana. Windy conditions will also develop leading to very cold wind chills for west-central and northwest Montana.
Wind chill values of -20° will be possible for the Missoula and Mission valleys along with locations along the Montana/Idaho border in northwest Montana. Wind chills of -40° will be possible for the Flathead Valley, the Seeley/Swan Region and the West Glacier Region.
Thursday and Friday will be the most active and intense days of the week. Here's what we're watching.
Northwest Montana Thursday - Friday:
High temperatures only reach the single digits or below zero with low temperatures dropping well below zero. Windy conditions will develop Thursday and Thursday night with wind gusts of 30-to-40 mph possible. This will lead to dangerously cold wind chills for the Flathead Valley, Seeley/Swan Region and the West Glacier Region with wind chills dropping to as low as -40°. There is even the possibility of -50° wind chills Thursday night.
West-Central & Southwest Montana Thursday - Friday:
A low-pressure system will be tracking to the south of us through Utah and Wyoming. This will pump up moisture into southwest Montana bringing widespread snow Thursday afternoon through Friday. The main question is how far north can this moisture make it? Models have been increasing the northern track over the past few days to include the I-90 corridor. Right now we are looking at 2"-to-4" for locations along I-90. Southwest Montana, including the Bitterroot Valley, will see the most snow with 3"-to-6" possible. The mountains of southwest Montana will see the most snow with up to 12" possible.
This time frame is also when the coldest air arrives with highs in the single digits. Windy conditions will lead to blowing and drifting snow along with very cold wind chills. The Missoula Valley could see wind chills as low as -30° Thursday while the Bitterroot Valley sees wind chills drop to -20°.
We will continue to watch this and bring updates on cold and snow as we move forward.