BOZEMAN – There are two cold fronts to impact the weather over the region in the next 5 to 7 days. The first cold front is dropping down through Alberta and will hit the hi-line of Montana Thursday afternoon and quickly reach the southern half of the state by early Friday morning.
This system will produce rain and snow along with a brief shot of cooler air and gusty winds. Snow accumulations should be light by Friday morning with 1”-3” for most valleys along and North of I-90. Valley snow accumulations south of I-90 should be around an inch or less.
This could produce some wintry travel conditions especially for mountain passes on Friday morning. Temperatures should moderate enough to melt any or all of the lower valley snow by Friday afternoon.
The second storm is coming in from the Pacific so this storm should have milder air associated with it and thus a better chance of valley rain and higher mountain snow by the end of the weekend into early next week.
We need more storms to help boost our mountain snowpack. As of Wednesday afternoon, the SWE (snow water equivalent) percent of average values are near to slightly below normal for most river basins in SW Montana.
The Jefferson and Madison are below 90% and the Gallatin, Upper Clark Fork, and Upper Yellowstone are near normal but are slightly lower than 100%.