Pattern change begins Thursday with a warm front

Posted at 5:56 PM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 19:56:56-05

BOZEMAN – Arctic air continue to sit over most of Montana again today with the coldest temperatures along the hi-line. Clear skies Wednesday morning allowed lows in SW Montana to fall slightly below zero but -20 to -30 below in northern Montana.

A pattern change arrives Thursday as the next pacific storm rolls in from the Pacific NW. A warm front will pass through first Thursday followed by a cold front on Friday morning.

The warm front will help temperatures climb Thursday and with afternoon SW surface winds 10 to 20 mph in most areas that should scrub out the cold arctic air locally.

The cold front will arrive Thursday evening and will produce scattered snow and gusty winds Thursday night into Friday morning. Snow accumulations are likely across SW Montana with most valleys picking up 1” – 2” and mountain passes 2” – 4”. The only exception will be in Gallatin county. Bozeman to Big Sky to West Yellowstone could see around 2” – 4” of snow and higher amounts over nearby mountain ranges.

Plan on a slow go Friday morning commute as the cold front will pass between Butte and Bozeman around 5 am to 7 am.

Behind the cold front temperatures will drop but just for a few days. A general warm and dry weather pattern is still excepted next week.