Posted: Nov 20, 2012 9:56 AM by Meteorologist Matt Elwell
Updated: Nov 20, 2012 9:57 AM
If your Thanksgiving plans take you out of town, be sure to keep an eye on the forecast. The storm that has caused flooding and torrential downpours along the West Coast will move across Montana in time for Thanksgiving dinner.
The slow-moving system will drag plenty of moisture with cool air filtering in behind. That spells rain for most of the area through Wednesday, but pockets of snow will start to move through the area Wednesday night as cooler air moves in. That could make travel along Montana's Western passes a little tricky to say the least on Wednesday and Wednesday evening. Periods of heavy snow on Lolo Pass, Lookout Pass, Marias Pass, and Lost Trail Pass will make for slick conditions. Combine that with moderately strong winds, you should be sure to use caution if traveling through these areas.
Rain showers are expected for your Tuesday and Wednesday for most of Southwest Montana Tuesday and Wednesday, but those showers are likely to give way to snow overnight Wednesday. Butte and Bozeman could see an inch of snow by Thanksgiving morning, although some areas could see locally higher amounts. Our temperatures are expected to be above freezing for most of the day on Thursday, with rain/snow chances diminishing as this storm passes by.
If your travels bring you into Central Montana, the forecast looks fairly dry and mild with mostly sunny skies and highs in the middle 40's for Thanksgiving if you are heading toward Billings. Eastern Montana is following a similar flair with better chances of rain and snow Wednesday night, but staying in the upper 20's and low 30's the closer you are to Sidney.
Stay safe, and keep an eye on the forecast if you plan to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.