MISSOULA — A change to a more active weather pattern is still on track to begin later today, as the first of a series of weather disturbances moves inland into the Northern Rockies.
A cold front with high amounts of moisture will bring widespread precipitation to the region Friday. Light showers will start to develop this afternoon, however, the most widespread rain comes overnight Friday into early Saturday morning. Northwest Montana looks to receive the most rain fall with this system where widespread precipitation amounts of 0.25" - 0.50" can be expected. West central Montana, from Seeley Lake to Ovando and through the Missoula/Bitterroot Valleys, can expect lesser amounts of around 0.20" or less.
Showers will come to an end Saturday morning. The rest of the weekend will then be much cooler, around 10-15 degrees below where we have been the past few days. Scattered mountain showers, occasionally drifting over area valleys will be common each afternoon Saturday and Sunday.
The next round of moisture will arrive Monday of next week and continue through at least Thursday as an "atmospheric river" sets up bringing a considerable amount of moisture to the northern Rockies. An atmospheric river generally means this for western Montana: Steady, moderate to heavy rain/snow for the mountains along the MT/ID border. As these events are usually mild, snow levels will generally stay above pass level. Valleys will see scattered rain showers each day with much lighter amounts expected. High temperatures next week will top out in the upper 40s to low 50s.