Feb 27, 2011 5:53 PM by Meteorologist Mike Heard
More active weather to begin the new work week. A strong cold front and a strong upper level jet stream will be producing strong mid level and surface winds tonight into Monday. The approaching storm system will also produce areas of heavy snow in the up slope favored mountains along the MT/ID state line. Winter Storm Warnings have been posted until 4am Tuesday with 8"-12" in the lower elevations and 1 to 2 feet over the high elevations of western Montana and Glacier National Park area and for mountain passes like Lookout and Lolo and for the Idaho panhandle passes as well.
Back to the wind threat for SW Montana. West of the divide, Butte/Blackfoot region, look for increasing winds tonight but the wind advisory is in effect from 5am to 5pm Monday. SW winds 15-25 mph in the morning will increase to 20-30 sustained wind and gust at times to 40 mph by afternoon.
High wind watch, meaning conditions look favorable, for SW Montana east of the divide Tonight through Monday evening. SW Winds will be increasing into Monday 20-30 mph and possible gusts to 60 mph are possible especially through the mountain passes and favored canyon areas. Areas that should endure the strongest winds will be the Norris Hill, Three Forks and Whitehall areas. All mountain passes will likely see strong to damaging winds! As the storm develops the watch area could be upgraded to a warning or an advisory.
Strong winds will also produce areas of blowing and drifting of ground snow at times making travel difficult especially on county roads around Bozeman. Strong winds along the ridge tops will also increase avalanche danger this week.
Wind gusts up to or over 58 mph could produce property damage so now is the time to prepare by removing anything around your home that might be easily caught up in the wind event Monday.
Snow will eventually increase over the mountains of SW Montana with the passage of a cold front by Monday night into Tuesday and valley rain/snow is also likely.