Dangerously cold temps and heavy snow are bearing down on Montana
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.