Severe winter weather to impact Montana through Friday

Extreme cold and snow
Posted at 1:59 PM, Dec 19, 2022

BOZEMAN – A SEVERE WINTER weather event will play out this week across Montana. This is a life threatening weather event. You all need to take precautions to save life and property.

That bold statement is not something I use very often but what is coming will be one of the more extreme winter events of the season.

Extremely cold Arctic air is pouring into Montana on both sides of the Continental Divide. That began over the weekend. A stronger surge of Arctic air will develop Wednesday through Friday.

The other weather event is a warm moist Pacific storm will overrun the Arctic air and produce widespread areas of snow Tuesday through Wednesday. Valleys and mountains will see periods of snow light to moderate with occasional bursts of heavier snow possible.

Other side effects will be surface wind gusts 20 to 40 mph. This will produce areas of blowing snow and very visibility along with incredibly cold wind chill (feels like) temperatures.

Once the snow ends and skies clear Wednesday night temperatures will bottom out around –20 to –45 below zero Thursday morning and with a light wind 5 to 10 mph wind chill values could be as cold as –50 below zero or colder Thursday morning.

Here is all the severe winter weather highlights issued as of 1 pm Monday from the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER STORM WARNING west of the divide including Butte, Missoula, Kalispell and all mountain ranges.

Snow 4”-8” is likely and possibly higher amounts over higher elevations. Wind gusts 30 to 40 mph will produce areas of blowing snow, drifting snow, and wind chill values as cold as –50 below zero.


The National Weather Service continues a WINTER STORM WATCH for SW Montana east of the divide Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon. This will be upgraded later today to either a winter storm warning or a winter weather advisory.

Snow 4”-8” is possible especially over mountain passes. Lower valleys could see 1”-4” of snow or more. Wind gusts 30 to 40 mph are possible producing areas of blowing and drifting snow and incredibly cold wind chill temperatures.


The National Weather Service continues a WIND CHILL WARNING for SW Montana east of the divide from noon Wednesday to 6 pm Thursday.

Feels like temperatures –30 to –50 below zero are possible. This means frostbite and hypothermia is possible within 30 minutes. You need to limit your exposure to this extreme cold as much as possible to avoid serious heath complications or death.


The National Weather Service continues a WIND CHILL ADVISORY for central and eastern Montana now through noon Friday.

Feels like temperatures –25 to –50 below zero are possible.