High pressure will reign across most of Montana’s mountain areas for the next two days before a weak disturbance blows through Tuesday night with perhaps a few inches possible mainly in the NW areas. After slight clearing on Wednesday a more vigorous but warmer storm arrives Thursday with some decent accumulations possible above 6000’. A cold front then interacts with all this moisture Thursday night into Friday bringing snow levels down to the valleys with another 3-6” possible in the mountains on both sides of the Divide. The weekend looks colder with continued off and on chances for snow.
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Short Term Forecast
West of the Divide:
High pressure will be dominant today (Mon) and Tuesday across the region with mostly sunny skies and above average temps. Tuesday night clouds will increase with light snow possible along and north of the I-90 corridor with perhaps a few inches at Lookout and Whitefish. Clearing skies on Wednesday will be short lived before the real action starts early Thursday morning with a strong jet stream ushering in some subtropical moisture.
East of the Divide:
It’s one of those very rare times where the short-term forecast is somewhat similar on both sides of the Divide. A dominant high-pressure dome across the region with deliver mostly sunny skies with about average daytime temps on Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday night a weak disturbance passes through with perhaps an inch at Big Sky. Clearing skies on Wednesday will be short lived before the jet stream delivers widespread moisture across the region Thursday morning.
West of the Divide:
On Thursday, models are now indicating that snow levels will be around 6500’ for the rather impressive streak of moisture invading the region. Above 6500' accumulations could be around 4-8" by Thursday late afternoon before a cold front arrives bringing snow levels back down with continued snow Thursday night. Friday is the wild card right now as it all depends on how much residual moisture is around for the cold air to interact with. It could be several more inches or it could just be snow showers – either way Friday will be colder and unsettled. Look for the cold air to stick around with chances of snow showers through next weekend.
East of the Divide:
Accumulations look fairly light right now for Thursday’s storm before a cold front arrives Thursday night into early Friday morning that has potential to drop more substantial snow in the 4-8" range. Friday will be cold, snowy and blustery in the alpine zones with highs in the middle to upper teens with a few more inches likely. A large upper level low then moves over Montana later on Friday that should keep the temps cold and the light snow falling throughout the end of the weekend.
Here's the snow potential across the Northern Rockies on Thursday into Friday:
West Central Montana Avalanche Center
Flathead Avalanche Center
Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center:
Geography Key :
WEST of the Continental Divide
Montana Snowbowl, Discovery Basin, Lost Trail Powder Mountain, Lookout Pass, Whitefish Mountain Resort, Blacktail Mountain, Turner Mountain
EAST of the Continental Divide
Big Sky Resort, Bridger Bowl, Red Lodge Mountain, Maverick Mountain, Great Divide, Showdown
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