BOZEMAN – Please pay close attention to the latest weather forecast as BIG changes are coming to the entire state this weekend into next week.
Above normal temperatures Friday will continue into Saturday ahead of an Arctic cold front diving into the state from Canada beginning Saturday night.
Ahead of the front temperatures will jump above normal Saturday with lots of 40s and a few lower 50s, however, the warmup is caused by stronger downsloping wind gusts. In high wind prone areas across SW Montana wind gusts between 40 to 60 mph are possible Saturday afternoon and evening.
There are High Wind Warnings up across most of central Montana and a Wind Advisory for the Livingston area for Saturday. Gusts 60 to 70 mph are possible.
An Arctic front will begin to reach the northern half of the state Saturday late afternoon into Saturday evening producing increasing snow, much colder temperatures, and strong surface gusts. The Arctic front should reach SW Montana in the early morning hours Sunday.
Widespread snow will impact travel Sunday through Monday on both sides of the divide. In fact, flash freezing is possible. This is the result of rapidly falling temperatures. Wet roads will turn extremely icy and rough with thick chunks of ice.
Wind gusts Sunday could also produce areas of blowing snow and create below zero wind chill values.
Most forecast models are hinting that lower valleys could see anywhere from 1” to 6” and mountain passes well over 3” Sunday into Monday.
After the Arctic front has past through deep cold Arctic air will dig deeply down into the lower valleys with morning lows well below zero for the first half of next week and daytime highs barely reaching the single digits above zero. Wind chill values could be dangerously cold at times in the early morning hours even with a light 5 to 10 mph breeze the feels like temperature on exposed skin will be susceptible to frost bite.