Cold, windy, winter storm

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A STRONG WIND WARNING was issued for the East Glacier area on Wednesday and Thursday.
A HIGH WIND WATCH was issued for central Montana for Wednesday and Thursday.
A WINTER STORM WATCH has been issued for the Rocky Mountain Front and higher terrain in central Montana for Thursday and Friday.

A cold, windy, winter storm is heading towards Montana. Strong winds will precede the drop in temperatures and precipitation. Gradually colder air will move throughout the state allowing snow to fly even in lower elevations. If it’s cold enough to snow, it’s cold enough to negatively impact plants and flowers. If you plan to put plants in the next few days, maybe wait until after the weekend. Clouds will increase across the state through Wednesday, with a cold front triggering scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms later in the afternoon and evening. Highs will still be in the 60s and 70s. Colder air will spread across the state Wednesday night and Thursday. Highs will fall well below normal levels, only reaching the 40s and 50s. These temperatures will support a mix of rain and snow in the lower elevations through Thursday afternoon. A brutal wind will blow over most of the state, and with the increase in rain and snow, it will be difficult to travel in the northern half of Montana during the afternoon and evening. The mountains will have snow most of the day. On Thursday evening, as temperatures drop, snow levels will drop in valleys and plains. Areas of light snow will persist at lower elevations Thursday evening through Friday morning. Moderate to heavy snow will fall over the mountains and along the Rocky Mountain Front. Most regions will wake up to snow falling and/or on the ground Friday morning. Temperatures will reach the 40s for low elevation highs on Friday allowing for a mix of rain and snow. Patches of snow will persist in the mountains throughout the day. Coating up to a few inches is possible in lower elevations while some mountains can be over a foot. Nighttime temperatures will drop into the 20s, especially on Friday evening. If you have already planted your garden, you may want to cover it with a cotton sheet on Thursday and Friday evenings. Saturday will have rain and snow showers mixed with partly cloudy skies. Tops will be slightly warmer in the 50s for the lower elevations, but still in the 30s and 40s for the higher terrain. Sunday will be mostly cloudy with scattered rain showers. Highs will be in the 50s and 60s. Warmer temperatures in the 60s and low 70s will return on Monday.

Stay tuned for more on this impending storm.
Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist

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