Storm #2 will produce widespread snow and cold beginning Friday night

Posted at 1:35 PM, Oct 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-22 16:37:32-04

UPDATE: The National Weather Service has issued WINTER STORM WARNINGS for most of SW Montana 3 pm Friday to 6 pm Saturday. This includes the Butte/Blackfoot region, Jefferson, Broadwater, and Meagher counties.

Total snow accumulations: Mountains and passes 10"-14" or more. Valleys 6"-10" of snow is possible.
Wind gusts: 30 to 40+ mph will produce considerable blowing and drifting, whiteouts and dangerous travel.
Wind chills colder than -20 below are possible.

The National Weather Service continues a WINTER STORM WATCH for Beaverhead, Madison, and Gallatin counties and all southern Montana counties. There is still some uncertainty on snow totals but early estimates from NWS are as follows.

Possible snow totals: Mountains and passes 10"-15", valleys 5"-10". These estimates will likely change with updates by Friday morning.
Wind gusts 30 to 40 mph will produce areas of blowing snow, reduced visibility, hazardous travel, and wind chills values below -20 below zero at times.

BOZEMAN – First cold front is gone and heading down stream and in it’s wake colder temperatures through early next week.

For those lower valleys with snow on the ground you have the best chance for new record low temperatures Friday morning. That includes Bozeman, Belgrade, Butte, and Dillon. In fact, record lows are possible Saturday, Sunday, and again Monday morning with lows falling down around zero and even below zero by Sunday and Monday morning.

A second Pacific storm will be overrunning the colder air over Montana Friday afternoon through Saturday evening. This will produce widespread snow at all levels and this storm will be have a big impact on traveling especially over mountain passes.

The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER STORM WATCH for western and central Montana counties (except for Beaverhead county).

The watch means conditions look favorable for severe winter weather to impact the region. The watch will be upgraded to either a winter weather advisory or a winter storm warning later Thursday or by Friday morning.

Snow will be increasing across western, northwestern, and central Montana by Friday afternoon. SW Montana will see increasing snow after 4 pm west of the divide and reaching all areas by sunset through Saturday morning.

Early snow totals (will likely change) are in the 2”-4” range for Butte, Ennis, and West Yellowstone. 4”-6” for Bozeman, Anaconda, Boulder, and Helena.

Mountains and passes could see 6”-12” of snow. This next storm front will also produce gusty winds over 30 mph and that could produce areas of blowing snow, drifting snow, lower visibility and difficult to hazardous travel.

Once this storm moves out Saturday evening skies will begin to clear. This will allow very cold air to dig down into the lower valleys. In fact, most of us will fall below zero Sunday and Monday morning. Light winds could also produce wind chills as low as –20 below zero at times in the early morning hours.

Updates on the next weather maker are coming up tonight at 5:30 pm and 10 pm on KXLF and KBZK and at 9 pm on the CW.