Strong winds across Montana this weekend

Posted at 1:33 PM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 16:45:31-05

UPDATE: The National Weather Service has issued a WIND ADVISORY for the Butte-Blackfoot region from 5 am to 5 pm Saturday. Sustained winds 20 to 30 mph and gusts up to or over 50 mph are possible.
Areas impacted: Anaconda, Georgetown Lake, MacDonald Pass, and around Avon, Garrison to Elliston.

Property damage is possible along with downed trees and power outages.

BOZEMAN – The greatest weather hazard this weekend will be strong gusty winds across Montana. High wind prone areas along the Rocky mountain front, upper Yellowstone and hi-line region could see a long duration high wind event beginning Friday evening and continuing through Sunday evening.

The National Weather Service has a variety of High Wind Warnings, High Wind Watch, and Wind Advisories up east of the divide. Wind gusts between 60 and 70 mph are possible for most of the weekend.

Locally, SW Montana will experience strong gusty winds as well especially around Whitehall, Three Forks, Norris Hill, Townsend, Warm Springs to Deer Lodge, Monida pass and of course in the Livingston area. These areas above could see peak gusts 40 to 60 mph. Everyone else in SW Montana could see gusts over 30 mph this weekend.

Forecast models show the strongest wind gusts will hit SW Montana early Saturday morning and again after midnight Saturday into Sunday morning.

A strong Polar jet stream combined with several Pacific storms passing through the state will produce the strong winds across Montana this weekend. These storms could also produce higher mountain snow at times.

A warm core Pacific storm will begin to move into western Montana Sunday morning and could produce valley rain with higher mountain snow. This storm will spin slowly through the state and could produce wintry travel conditions by Monday morning for most of SW Montana.