BOZEMAN – In the wake of yesterday’s winter storm we are left with a cold and dry pattern.
Morning lows Thursday dropped off into the single digits and teens but West Yellowstone fell below zero and they set a new record low with -8° below zero.
Clear skies tonight will likely produce numerous record lows for Friday morning in SW Montana.
SLOW CHANGES COMING SOON
A slow warming trend is coming to Montana beginning Friday but temperatures will remain well below normal this weekend into early next week and should come very close to normal by Wednesday. Average highs for Butte and Bozeman are around 60°.
Why is this happening? Look at the jet stream. The Polar jet stream is highly amplified, and this means everything is moving very slowly through the Northern Hemisphere. Big kinks and curves in the jet stream with High pressure ridging and Low-pressure troughs is how our atmosphere tries to reach equilibrium. Colder polar air tries to dig toward the equator with the deep troughs whereas warmer equatorial air is trying to lift poleward with the ridge pattern.
Due to the slow motion of the trough vs ridge pattern that leaves Montana in a NW flow aloft through the weekend and slowly transitioning into a SW flow by early next week. That is the detailed answer to why we will have a slow warming trend.
Travel concerns will continue into the weekend as our roadways will go through several cycles of thawing and melting of snow in the afternoon hours only to re-freeze again at night producing icy morning commutes.