Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Dangerously cold temps and heavy snow are bearing down on Montana

A weather graphic dated Dec. 17, 2022 warns "Extreme Cold Expected across all of the Northern Rockies Dec. 19 - Dec 23." Prolonged, dangerous cold is expected, with high temperatures ranging from 20 F to minus 25 F. Lows could dip to 45 degrees below zero Thursday Morning. This brings increased risk of hypothermia for people, pets and livestock. Winterize your vehicle and pack an emergency supply kit.
National Weather Service Missoula
Extreme Cold Expected across all of the Northern Rockies Dec. 19 - Dec 23, 2022.

An extremely cold and snowy winter storm is on track to slam into the Northern Rockies this week. This storm system could cause extensive disruptions and threaten lives.

Weather forecasters aren’t mincing words about this incoming storm. National Weather Service-Missoula early Monday morning cautioned, "If there's ever a time to put off discretionary travel, Tuesday evening and overnight would be a good time to prepare to stay put."

Lower elevations of western Montana could get up to a foot of snow by mid-week. Mountain passes will collect even more.

By Wednesday morning, wind chill temperatures could plummet to minus 30 and minus 40 degrees.Lows of 50 below zero aren't out of the question for southwest Montana. At those temperatures hypothermia and frostbite will happen within minutes.

The bitter cold prompted Great Divide and Showdown ski areas to announce their closures on December 21 and 22.

Cable TV and internet provider Spectrum distributed text messages to western Montana customers announcing the company is preparing for possible service outages during the storm.

NorthWestern Energy encourages customers to gently sweep snow off their gas meters to prevent service interruptions or even dangerous gas leaks.

The National Weather Service is predicting “extremely cold temperatures” this coming weekend, lasting throughout next week. With frigid weather on the way, here are eight tips to stay safe and warm.

A weather graphic titled "Holiday Traffic Planner, North Central Idaho and Western Montana." The graphic shows the most extreme cold will be on Dec. 21 and 22. Snow, wind and low temperatures will occur through Dec. 23, followed by "wintery mix" the 24th through 26th.
National Weather Service Missoula.
Holiday Travel Planner, North Central Idaho and Western Montana, Dec. 18 - 26, 2022.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
(406) 243-4065
Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information