BOZEMAN – A strong westerly flow is paving the way for numerous warm core Pacific storms to roll over the Pacific NW and Northern Rockies. Temperatures have jumped well above normal and are very close to record high levels.
The next Pacific storm will produce mild temperatures through Wednesday but this next storm system will impact travel locally and regionally.
The forecast has mixed precipitation for lower valleys with a slight chance for short periods of freezing rain. Wet roads will become icy and impact travel Monday night through Wednesday morning.
Higher mountain snow is likely and could be heavy at times across the southern ranges in Beaverhead, Madison, and Gallatin counties.
Surface wind gusts will become very strong especially in high wind areas like Ennis, Norris Hill, and Livingston. Surface gusts 50 to 65 mph are possible, and this could produce considerable areas of blowing snow.
One example of blowing snow and very low visibility is impacting Monida Pass Monday afternoon.
Other hazards are ice jams developing along the Gallatin River. The National Weather Service continues a FLOOD ADVISORY for ice jam related flooding in the Logan area until Wednesday.
The National Weather Service has WINTER STORM WARNING up for the mountain ranges in Beaverhead, Madison, and Gallatin Counties from midnight Monday to Midnight Tuesday. The northern ranges could see 2”-4” or more but the southern ranges could see 6”-12” or more of snow.
Also, higher elevations will see wind gusts over 60 mph. This will produce blizzard-like conditions in the backcountry and could elevate avalanche danger.
The National Weather Service has a HIGH WIND WARNING up along the Madison River in Madison County including Ennis and Norris Hill from Midnight Monday to 11 pm Tuesday and WIND ADVISORY in the Livingston area.
Sustained winds of 30 to 45 mph is likely with peak gusts up to 65 mph. This will produce areas of blowing snow and low visibility.