MISSOULA — A slow-moving system developed over Flathead Lake overnight, resulting in snow accumulations, especially on the east side of Flathead Lake, along Highway 35 through Creston. Impacts from this area of snow will linger through the morning commute so a winter weather advisory has been issued.
A strong storm system will bring gusty winds to the northern Rockies by late afternoon and evening Monday. By 8 pm this evening, models show widespread wind gusts from Missoula north to the Canadian border of 40-50 mph. Area mountain ranges could see wind gusts of up to 60 mph. A High Wind Warning has been issued for all of western Montana starting this afternoon and continuing into the evening. Falling trees are expected and power outages are possible.
Snow will also develop this afternoon and continue into Tuesday morning with the heaviest snow falling south of the I-90 corridor. Areas around and north of the I-90 corridor to Flathead Lake could see light snow accumulations of 1"-to-3" tonight into Tuesday. Locations north of Flathead Lake will see very little snow accumulations.
South of the I-90 corridor could see moderate to heavy snow, with the heaviest snow falling through the southern Bitterroot Valley into Lemhi County, Idaho then east towards the divide. Areas around Hamilton and south could see up to 6".
Very difficult travel is expected along I-90 from around Garrison Junction and east with snow amounts of greater than 6" likely. Homestake and MacDonald Passes along with Butte have a high chance to see at least 8" of snow. This winter storm will then move east bringing heavy snow to central and eastern Montana Tuesday into Wednesday. If you have travel plans over the next few days, it would be a good idea to put those on hold until later in the week as travel will become very difficult.