Wintry travel continues into tonight and strong winds hit again on Friday

Posted at 1:41 PM, Oct 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-23 15:41:11-04

BOZEMAN – In the wake of a strong cold front that hit the region Tuesday a NW flow aloft with cooler temperatures and snow impacted our region today.

From Boulder Hill on I-15 to Bozeman Pass on I-90 jackknifed semi-trucks produced accidents and closures Wednesday morning into Wednesday afternoon.

Snow banding will continue east of the divide and the Bozeman area will see scattered off-and-on snow showers through midnight Wednesday. This will have a minor impact on the evening commute especially if you travel over Bozeman Pass tonight.


The National Weather Service continues a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY through 6 pm for Jefferson and Meagher counties in SW Montana. Although the Bozeman pass on I-90 is not under an advisory look for scattered snow showers, wet roads turning icy, and slow go travel into Thursday morning.


Another round of active weather will be setting up by the end of the week into the weekend. Similar pattern to the last 48 hours will re-develop again Friday into Saturday.

A strong Pacific cold front will clash with a High-pressure ridge and produce strong surface winds Friday afternoon into Friday evening. Gusts 30 to 50 mph are possible east of the divide for SW Montana. Strongest wind gusts over 60 mph is likely along the Rocky mountain front and adjacent plains between Great Falls, Helena, and Lewistown Friday.


The National Weather Service issued a HIGH WIND WATCH from Friday morning into Friday evening. Jefferson, Broadwater, and Meagher counties are included in the Watch. A High Wind Watch means conditions look favorable for strong wind gusts to develop and will impact travel, produce possible power outages, and produce raw back-country conditions. A watch is typically issued well ahead of time and covers large areas. Once the storm approaches the state this watch will be upgraded to either a wind advisory for some or a high wind warnings for other areas. Stay tuned.

After the wind event on Friday will come increasing rain changing to snow Saturday. Travel impacts are likely for most mountain passes and watch for icy roads even down in the valley floor by Saturday evening into Sunday morning.

Temperatures will fall quickly behind the front on Saturday and continue to stay well below normal through next week. Friday highs could reach the 60s but barely reach the 30s by Monday.