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Big weather pattern changes this weekend

Posted at 6:10 PM, Jan 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-30 20:10:28-05

BOZEMAN – A high impact weather event is coming to SW Montana soon. A wide variety of weather conditions will impact the entire state Friday through Monday.

Let’s break it down daily. Friday the flow aloft is shifting out of the SW and that should begin to warm temperatures up slightly above normal with increasing surface winds by Friday afternoon. There will be considerable cloud cover and a few isolated rain or snow showers are possible throughout the day and even a few isolated pockets of freezing rain.

Saturday will be one of the high impact storm days this weekend. Ahead of a strong cold front temperatures will shoot up into the upper 40’s to lower 60’s across the state. However, that might sound wonderful but the reason for the warmer temperatures will be very strong surface winds.

Saturday sustained winds across SW Montana will be around 15 to 30 mph but wind prone areas could experience sustained winds over 40 mph and peak gusts to or over 60 mph. High wind watch, and warnings are up for a few select counties of SW Montana on Saturday.

The combination of strong surface winds, warmer than normal temperatures, lower relative humidity, and very little to no ground snow at lower elevations will produce higher fire danger Saturday, especially for lower valleys with dry dead grasses.

Saturday night a strong cold front will dive through Montana from NW to SE. This front will continue to produce strong surface winds, but it will also bring increasing moisture. Snow is likely and accumulations will be on the light to moderate side impacting travel Sunday into Monday morning.

Behind this cold front temperatures will take a dive and fall well below normal beginning Monday.