BOZEMAN – Our first major winter storm of the season arrives Tuesday evening with widespread snow and well below normal temperatures.
Plan now on difficult to hazardous travel conditions for your commutes Wednesday morning, Wednesday evening, Thursday morning and Thursday evening.
Moderate to heavy valley and mountain snow is in the forecast and with temperatures remaining below freezing wet roadways will become icy and snowcovered.
The National Weather Service has a WINTER STORM WATCH up across most of SW Montana Tuesday evening through Thursday afternoon. In the graphic below, general snow accumulations of 5”-10” for lower valleys is possible and 8”-15” for most mountain ranges.
Travel conditions will be very difficult to impossible, according to the National Weather Service, and tire chains may be required for some vehicles. Backcountry hunters should be prepared for extreme winter weather conditions.
Latest snowfall forecast for SW Montana shows the potential for 8”-12” of snow from Butte to Bozeman to Helena. Lesser impacts from Dillon southward to Monida Pass.
Mountain passes that will see the worst travel conditions are likely to be MacDonald Pass, Boulder Hill, Homestake Pass, Bozeman Pass, Kings Hill Pass, Norris Hill, Raynolds Pass, Big Hole Pass, Georgetown Lake and Lookout Pass.
This is the first significant snowstorm of the season and don’t be caught unprepared. Appropriate winter tires is a must if you are traveling over any mountain pass this week. Have your survival winter gear in your vehicle, allow for plenty of additional travel times and don’t be in a hurry. Use good winter defensive driving skills. Watch for snow and ice!