Snow and wind storm to hit New Year's Eve and New Year's Day

Posted at 1:53 PM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-30 15:53:38-05

BOZEMAN – Next weather maker is a strong pacific storm with ample moisture and a powerful jet stream pushing into the Pacific NW and Northern Rockies.

This storm will have a major impact on traveling Tuesday evening through Thursday morning. Mountain passes will see periods of snow and wind and in high wind prone areas along the Rocky mountain front and Upper Yellowstone wind gusts over 70 mph are possible.

Mountain passes along the Montana-Idaho state line will likely see the heaviest snowfall, but all mountain passes in SW Montana should see snow and wind.

Timing of this storm, (could change) is coming around midnight in far western Montana and reaching SW Montana after midnight into the early morning hours on Wednesday.


The National Weather Service has a Winter Storm Watch up across far Western Montana, Rocky mountain front and locally – Beaverhead, Madison, and Gallatin counties Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday evening.

Winter Storm Watch is usually issued well in advance of an approaching storm system to give you ample notice of hazardous weather headed our way. As the storm approaches the Watch will be upgraded to either a Winter Weather Advisory or a Winter Storm Warning. Look for updates here and on the KBZK STORMTracker Weather mobile app.

NWS is estimating total snowfall of 5” – 12” above 7,000’ and 2” – 6” for lower valleys. Wind gusts 30 to 40 mph are possible as well.

SW Montana areas of greatest concern: Big Hole Pass, Chief Joseph Pass, Lost Trail Pass, Monida Pass, Raynolds Pass, Targhee Pass, Big Sky to West Yellowstone. Although these are the areas of greatest concern, all mountain passes in our region should see snow and wind producing difficult travel New Year’s Day.


The National Weather Service did issue a High Wind Watch Tuesday evening through Wednesday evening for the Upper Yellowstone region near Livingston and along the Rocky Mountain front.

High wind prone areas will see increasing wind Tuesday with sustained winds out of the SW ahead of a strong cold front between 30 to 50 mph. At times peak wind gusts could reach 50 to 75 mph.

Dangerous crosswinds are likely along I-90 in the Livingston area so be prepared for road closures or detours through Livingston Tuesday into Wednesday.

The High Wind Watch will likely be upgraded to a High Wind Warning in the next 24 hours.