Weather briefing on the next snow storm that begins tonight

Posted at 1:26 PM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-05 15:26:36-05

BOZEMAN – A complex weather pattern is building over the Pacific NW and will start to drift eastward Wednesday night.

This storm is very complex, some lower valleys will see very little snow, others possibly up to a foot of snow in SW Montana. There is an abundant amount of warm moist air with this storm that will produce a “spring like” heavy wet snow to Montana. We will see some “dry slotting” with this storm as well which makes forecasting snow totals very challenging.

Timing of this event will begin Wednesday late afternoon and evening and continue into Thursday, Thursday night and possibly into Friday morning. This long duration storm event will have around 48 hours or more to produce moderate to heavy mountain snow and by the weekend most mountain ranges should have at least a foot of new snow and a few ranges could see up to 3 feet of snow.


The National Weather Service has a variety of Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings up from central and northern Idaho through western, central and southern Montana over the next 48 hours. Travel will be very difficult, and some mountain passes travel could be impossible, according to the National Weather Service.


The National Weather Service issued a WINTER STORM WARNING for SW Montana east of the divide Wednesday 2 pm to Friday 11 am.

Above 5,500’ snow accumulations of 10” – 30” are possible. Mountain passes could see up to a foot of snow and higher elevations possibly up to 3 feet of snow.

Wind gusts to 40 mph will produce areas of blowing snow and lower visibility.


The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory across SW Montana.

East of the divide: 2 pm Wednesday to 11 am Thursday below 5,500’. Total snow accumulations of 1” – 6” is possible, some valleys could see over 6”.

West of the divide: 5am Thursday to 11 am Friday. Valleys could see 3”-6” of snow and mountains 6”-9” of snow. Locally gust winds could produce areas of blowing snow.


This storm system will produce difficult commutes, especially over mountain passes, Thursday morning, Thursday evening, and Friday morning.

Be prepared for harsh travel conditions and much longer commute times. Have essential survival supplies with you: blankets, food & water, warm clothing, flares, tire chains, cell phone.

Updates on this storm are coming up tonight at 5:30 pm and 10 pm on KXLF and KBZK with Chief Meteorologist Mike Heard.