Severe weather briefing for Montana tonight into Wednesday

Posted at 1:57 PM, Dec 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-11 15:57:56-05

BOZEMAN – The 24 to 48 hours will be very active across Montana. A powerful pacific cold front will pass through the state and produce increasing snow and increasing surface winds.

That combination will bring hazardous to dangerous travel impacts to the state with blowing snow and reduced visibility.

Heaviest snowfall should be along the MT/ID state line with up to a foot of snow possible for Lookout pass on I-90 along with wind gusts over 40 mph.

1 pm Tuesday Lookout Pass I-90

There is a WINTER STORM WARNING out for far western Montana tonight into Wednesday morning.

Winter Storm Warning

Central Montana will be hit with damaging wind gusts over 60 mph at times from Cut Bank down to Livingston.

There are HIGH WIND WATCHES and HIGH WIND WARNINGS up through Thursday.

Livingston area is already seeing wind gusts over 60 mph Tuesday afternoon. High profile vehicles will most likely be diverted through Livingston on I-90 to by pass this crosswind area.

High Wind Warning

The National Weather Service has a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY up for most of SW Montana Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon.

Mountain passes will be impacted more than lower valleys. However, strong winds are possible at all levels for SW Montana Tuesday evening through Wednesday evening.

Snow accumulations: 3″ – 8″ for most mountain passes. Valleys 1″ – 3″.

WSW winds will be increasing 15 to 30 mph Tuesday evening and by Wednesday look for stronger winds 20 to 30 mph and gusting over 40 mph at times. Wind prone areas could see stronger gusts: Whitehall, Three Forks, Ennis, Norris Hill and Opportunity and Warm Springs.

Considerable blowing snow is likely especially for mountain passes along the MT/ID state line like: Monida, Chief Joseph, Raynolds and Targhee passes.

Winter Weather Advisory

City by City Forecast:

BOZEMAN: LOW: 25°; HIGH WEDNESDAY: 37°. Increasing surface winds tonight into Wednesday as a strong cold front passes through. Look for winds to increase between 20 to 30 and gusts to 45 mph overnight. Snow showers are possible at times with light accumulations for Bozeman, however, the combination of strong winds, surface snow and falling snow at times could reduce visibility to under a quarter mile Wednesday morning.

BUTTE: LOW: 19°; HIGH WEDNESDAY: 32°. Snow and wind will be increasing over Butte Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Snow accumulations for Butte between 1″ – 3″ is possible. Winds will increase 15 to 25 mph Tuesday evening and could increase between 20 to 30 mph gusting to 45 mph Wednesday morning. Areas of blowing snow will create dangerous travel. Moderate snowfall is possible along with strong wind gusts for MacDonald pass, Georgetown Lake and Homestake pass Wednesday.

DILLON: LOW: 16°; HIGH WEDNESDAY: 32°. Dillon will be impacted by this storm system tonight into Wednesday with periods of light snow and very strong surface winds 20 to 30 mph gusting at times to 45 mph. This will bring blowing snow and lower visibility issues for traveling. Monida pass and Big Hole pass could see 3″ – 8″ of snow and wind gusts over 40 mph and likely setting up dangerous travel at times Tuesday night and Wednesday.

WEST YELLOWSTONE: LOW: 8°; HIGH WEDNESDAY: 25°. Hazardous travel weather likely Tuesday night into Wednesday afternoon. Periods of moderate snow 2″ – 8″ along with increasing surface winds 15 to 40 mph will produce blowing and drifting snow by Wednesday morning and visibility could be less than a quarter mile at times. Raynolds pass and Targhee pass could see 3″ – 8″ of snow and wind gusts over 40 mph. Dangerous travel impacts are possible Wednesday.