Posted: Jan 7, 2013 11:26 AM by Meteorologist Matt Elwell
Updated: Jan 7, 2013 11:40 AM
The weather in Southwest Montana is once again moving into a transition period where we could see a variety of weather in a very short amount of time. While this shouldn't shock any of us, we should be prepared for what we have in store.
Monday and Tuesday will bring our first system into play bringing isolated light snow chances to the area with little, if any, accumulation. Anaconda and Butte stand the best chance of picking up accumulating snow in the next 24 hours, and that looks to be around an inch or less though Tuesday evening, while the vast majority of area will struggle to see any accumulating snowfall.
The second system could be a little more significant. Several of the models are indicating a bulls-eye for snowfall in Southwest Montana for the Thursday evening and Friday timeframe. Early models indicate that Bozeman could average between 3-5 inches of snow with the area around Butte picking up between 2-4 inches. The computer models are having a tough time handling the amount of moisture out ahead of low pressure slated to move in Thursday night, so don't be surprised to see significantly higher amounts in some areas above 5500 feet. Small variations in the moisture content can make a large difference when forecasting this far out.
Another impact for this storm is the arctic blast of cold air moves in immediately following this system. Daytime highs are once again look to struggle in the teens with overnight lows likely to be sub-zero for much of the region, especially the valleys and west of the divide. Temperatures for Saturday morning look to be drop to the -10° to 0° range with a slow bounce-back late in the weekend and early next week.
Stay tuned to the forecast as we continue to track this system in the STORMTracker Weather Center.