BOZEMAN – Unseasonably warm weather pattern continues Monday with temperatures likely to reach the 60s to lower 70s. This could reach record highs for today. I’ll report any new record highs in SW Montana tonight at 5:30 pm and 10 pm on KBZK and KXLF.
Tuesday and Wednesday could also threaten record highs locally. A blocking High-pressure ridge is producing a dry and very warm weather pattern right now and should continue through Wednesday.
A pattern change is likely to impact the region beginning Thursday night as a Pacific storm drops in from the NW producing rain, snow and wind heading into Friday.
By Saturday colder Canadian air (possible Arctic event) will also drop down into Montana producing another round of much colder temperatures, gusty winds, and widespread snow.
Early estimates on total snow accumulations could be in the 3” to 8” range for lower valleys and a foot or more for most mountain ranges. It’s way too early to give a confident total snow accumulation and forecast models will have a much better handle on the total snow as we get closer to the event.
The ECMWF model shows the more significant snow could be over central and northern Montana this weekend into early next week.
The GFS models shows the higher snow accumulations from central Montana down into southern Montana.
Because these models differ greatly confidence currently is low on snow amounts. For now, I recommend you all prepare for much colder temperatures, possibly below zero wind chills, moderate to heavy snow at times, and harsh wintry travel conditions beginning Friday night through Monday morning.