BOZEMAN – Severe winter weather will impact Montana Friday night into Saturday. Greatest impacts should be east of the divide with areas of moderate to heavy snow from West Yellowstone to Bozeman to Great Falls eastward.
Weather models are struggling on how much snow is possible with this storm tonight and leads to a lower confidence in the overall forecast. Worst case scenario for SW Montana is 2”-8” of valley snow and up to a foot for most mountain ranges. The most likely outcome, valleys 1”-4” and mountains and passes 3”-8”, a few models have less than an inch for valley snow west of the divide.
Regardless of how much snow we will get all forecast models are predicting widespread snow and localized gusty winds tonight into Saturday morning with travel impacts across 90% of Montana including SW Montana.
WINTER WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS
The National Weather Service continues a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for most of SW Montana tonight into Saturday morning. Areas highlighted in purple on the graphic below.
NWS snow accumulation forecast: 3”-6” for the valleys and 10” over most mountain ranges. This includes: Dillon, Ennis, Wisdom, Whitehall, Twin Bridges, Boulder, Townsend, Three Forks.
West of the divide the WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is up through 11 am Saturday. Snow accumulations of 2”-4” are possible and this includes: Butte, Homestake Pass, MacDonald Pass, Georgetown Lake, Highway 12 Garrison to Elliston.
WINTER STORM WARNING
The National Weather Service issued a WINTER STORM WARNING for Gallatin county through 11 am Saturday.
Snow accumulations: 4” – 8” for most valleys and up to or over a foot of snow for most mountain ranges. This includes: Bozeman, Bozeman Pass, Targhee Pass, West Yellowstone, Big Sky.
Winter Storm Warnings are also up for Meagher county to Cascade county eastward. Severe winter weather impacts could be widespread across central and eastern Montana tonight into Saturday.
The bottom line, severe winter weather will impact most of Montana tonight into Saturday. Periods of moderate to heavy snow are likely east of the divide, areas of blowing and drifting snow and reduced visibility, wind chills well below zero, snow covered and icy roads. Travel is not recommended until after this storm has rolled through, improving travel conditions are likely by Sunday.