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Weather Forecast: Winter Storm Friday into Saturday

Winter Storm Watch
Posted at 3:08 PM, Jan 25, 2023

MISSOULA- Some light snow showers will be possible this afternoon and again Thursday afternoon for portions of western Montana.

Little to no snow is expected with these showers.

A significant winter storm is looking more likely starting Thursday night and continuing into Saturday.

There are three main components to this storm — snow, wind and bitter cold.

SNOW:

Models have been trending up with snow amounts starting Thursday night and continuing through Saturday morning.

Models are currently showing a 60-90% chance for valleys across western Montana to receive at least 4" of snow.

Mountains could see significant snow with amounts of 1-3 feet possible.

Currently, models are highlighting west-central Montana for the heaviest snow this includes the I-90 corridor through Missoula.

One model has Snow Bowl seeing 24-36" of snow!

Stay tuned for updates on this set up.

The area of greatest uncertainty for snow is the Bitterroot Valley, primarily south of Stevensville to Hamilton.

This is primarily based on some models showing precipitation starting as rain and potentially staying rain or a rain/snow mix through Friday afternoon.

If this happens, snow amounts will be much less.

However, other models show a quicker transition to all snow with higher amounts.

Again, stay tuned for updates on this.

WIND

As the arctic front moves in late Friday night and Saturday morning gusty winds will pick up for western Montana.

With the latest increase in snow totals, blowing and drifting snow creating very difficult travel is becoming more possible, especially across the Flathead Valley, Glacier Region and the I-90 corridor.

Areas that have wet roads will also quickly freeze over as temperatures quickly drop with the arrival of the front.

COLD

Once the snow leaves, bitterly cold temperatures move in Sunday through Tuesday.

The coldest temperatures will be Sunday and Monday with highs in the single digits and lows below zero.

Wind chill values could drop to 20-30° below zero during this time frame.

Stay tuned to KPAX for more updates and details moving forward.