BOZEMAN – A pattern change is coming to Montana beginning Wednesday with a blast of snow and cold start Thursday.
High-pressure over the Pacific NW has diverted the Polar Jet Stream up into the Gulf of Alaska and dropping down through Alberta Canada into Montana. This will open the door for colder air to sink southward by the end of the week into the weekend. Temperatures will be slightly colder than normal this weekend but at this time we are not expecting extremely cold below zero conditions.
Several Pacific storms following the jet stream will add increasing moisture in the northerly flow aloft beginning Thursday with widespread snow likely by Friday. Snow accumulations are likely for both lower valleys and higher mountains thus plan on wintry travel conditions beginning Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning.
Other impacts from the pattern change will be increasing surface winds east of the divide. Along the Rocky Mountain front down into the Upper Yellowstone region near Livingston peak wind gusts 60 to 70 mph are possible.
There are High Wind Warnings and Wind Advisories up for central Montana tonight through Wednesday evening.