Montana’s stable – some could argue, boring – late fall weather is going to take a drastic turn this week.
“It sure has been boring and it’s about to get very un-boring, very quickly," according to National Weather Service Meteorologist LeeAnn Allegretto.
Allegretto says wintery weather is barreling toward Montana. Cold air and moisture moving in from the Pacific is expected to collide and stall over western Montana early Tuesday.
"We’re looking at anywhere from four to six, to six to eight inches in the valleys north of I-90, and upwards of two feet or more in the higher elevations."
The Missoula and Bitterroot valleys could initially pick up anywhere from one to three inches. Another few inches may accumulate by late Wednesday into Thursday.
But wait – there’s more: Allegretto says cold air and persistent, widespread snow is forecast from late Thursday into Friday. Temperatures will nosedive all week long.
"The picture through the week is a crashing snowball," Allegretto says. "Temperatures by Friday during the day will be in the teens – and that’s the high end. Beyond that, after that second push of cold air – and this is without the wind – our highs on Saturday will push the double digits."
Allegretto says there are lots of moving pieces to this week’s weather. She adds anyone who plans to travel needs to pay close attention to the forecast and be prepared for potentially dangerous winter conditions.
You can find travel advisories from the Montana Department of Transportation's Traveler Information page.