Unsettled winter weather, complex! Includes graphics.

Our complex weather pattern over the next several days is becoming somewhat clearer, but still a little on the tricky side, depending on where warmer southwest air decides to move into Montana and set up a boundary.

In a teleconference this afternoon with the National Weather Service offices in Great Falls, Glasgow, and Billings, information released shows the weather will vary from east to west.

Glasgow is expecting bitter cold temperatures, snow, freezing rain and ice over the next week. Snowfall Wednesday and Wednesday night west of Great Falls has caused the NWS to issue a Winter Storm Warning above 5,000′. The text of that warning will appear below. The areas of concern are Central Lewis & Clark county, Marias and Rogers passes. A foot of two of snow is possible with blowing and drifting snow causing difficult travel conditions.

A strong southwesterly flow will push the cold arctic air to the eastern part of the state. That will allow areas like Great Falls to see some temperatures in the 30’s later this week, again depending on where the boundary ends up with the cold air and the warm air. Computer models are changing often and disagreeing with each other in some cases.

Here are some of the graphics used in today’s teleconference from Great Falls.

 

NWS Weather Story

Warning area for heavy snow above 5,000 feet

Statewide view

The next seven days appear very unpredictable but certainly letting us know it is winter and abrupt changes are always possible.

Have a great day!

NORTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAIN FRONT-
CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN LEWIS AND CLARK-
SOUTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAIN FRONT-
INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS...MARIAS PASS...LOGAN PASS...
ROGERS PASS
1035 AM MST TUE JAN 11 2011

...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM WEDNESDAY TO 5 AM MST
FRIDAY FOR ELEVATIONS ABOVE 5000 FEET...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GREAT FALLS HAS ISSUED A WINTER
STORM WARNING FOR ELEVATIONS ABOVE 5000 FEET FOR HEAVY SNOW AND
BLOWING SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM WEDNESDAY TO 5 AM MST
FRIDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* TIMING AND MAIN IMPACT: A STRONG PACIFIC STORM SYSTEM WILL BRING
  WIDESPREAD HEAVY SNOW ALONG THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE BEGINNING
  WEDNESDAY MORNING. SNOW WILL INCREASE IN INTENSITY THROUGHOUT
  THE DAY ON WEDNESDAY AND CONTINUE THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING CAUSING
  HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS...PARTICULARLY OVER MOUNTAIN PASSES.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING
  OF 12 TO 24 INCHES ARE EXPECTED FOR ELEVATIONS ABOVE 5000 FEET.

* WINDS AND VISIBILITY: STRONG WESTERLY WINDS OF 15 TO 25 MPH WITH
  GUSTS GREATER THAN 40 MPH WILL CREATE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW
  WITH VISIBILITIES LESS THAN ONE HALF MILE.

* ELEVATIONS: FOR ELEVATIONS ABOVE 5000 FEET.

* LOCATIONS AFFECTED INCLUDE: ROGERS PASS...MARIAS PASS...LOGAN
  PASS

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER
CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING.  SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF
SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN
AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...FOOD...AND
WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.
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