We have our first winter storm watches out for parts of western Montana and northern Idaho along with high wind watches and warnings. This one may be for the record books as one of the earliest blizzards to hit that state or for the U.S.. This will be a long term event running from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. Up to 36 inch of heavy wet snow may fall along the Rocky mountain front and the adjacent plains. These watches extend into southern Alberta Canada.
October is normally the month that the first measurable snowfalls of the winter season fall in the Northern Plains, Rocky Mountains, Cascades of the Pacific Northwest (above about 4000 feet), and the Sierra Nevada of California (above about 6000 feet). On occasion, snow also falls in the Northeast and Appalachians at higher elevations.Though late September snow is not unheard of in western Montana the amount of snow and duration of this event is.
Today will be a nice early fall day with temps in the low 60s north and upper 60s south under mostly sunny skies. It will be a bit breezy with wind gusts in the 20 mph range. Tomorrow will be another story as the rain returns with on and off rain and thunderstorms with perhaps some small hail mixed in. Area football games tomorrow evening may require an umbrella…
We will be in an unsettled pattern over the next week with the cold and warm air doing battle – Monday is predicted to bring 80° with humid conditions then the pattern flips back to the 60s by next Wednesday with chances of showers each day.