BOZEMAN – An active weather pattern to return over Montana beginning Thursday through Saturday morning.
The next weather maker is another Pacific storm system that is currently just off the NW coast. Flow aloft will feed a steady stream of moisture through the Pacific NW into the Northern Rockies. This should favor mountains and passes with moderate to heavy snow at times in favored upslope areas like the Cascades in WA and OR, central and northern Idaho, along the MT/ID state line, Island Park, ID and Yellowstone National Park.
Locally, SW Montana mountains will see moderate snow accumulations and gusty winds Thursday into Friday. Higher elevations could see a foot of new snow but most lower valleys should see minor accumulations. Plan on wintry travel conditions Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning.
This strong westerly flow will also produce strong downsloping wind gusts along the Rocky Mountain front down through the Upper Yellowstone region.
There are a variety of high wind highlights up from High Wind Warnings, High Wind Watch, and Wind Advisories Thursday into Friday. Regardless of the type of statement these areas could see another round of peak wind gusts 60 to 70 + mph and possibly more areas of blowing snow.
If you plan on traveling west there is a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY up from Missoula to Spokane, WA from Thursday morning through Friday evening. I-90 Lookout Pass could see a foot or more of snow and 2”-5” for lower valleys from Missoula to the base of Lookout Pass.
SW Montana will see gusty winds, periods of light valley snow, and higher mountains could see a steady stream of moisture Thursday into Saturday morning. Temperatures will remain cooler than normal through early next week.