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Why Missoula Can’t Experience a Chinook Wind

slush
Photo courtesy of John Drake Flickr/Flickr

Temperatures are warmer than normal right now, and as the streets turn to slush, many people are wondering if Missoula is dealing with a Chinook weather system. National Weather Service Meteorologist, Bruce Bauck said the answer is “yes and no.”

“It’s essentially same thing going on here as the Chinook, but the Chinook terminology itself is confined to east of the divide, so it’s a continental divide, eastward thing,” Bauck said.

Here’s how it works:

“The temperatures are rising so rapidly,” Bauck said. “It’s because we have a relatively warm air mass loft, and then the air is now being driven down off the mountains into the valleys, and that’s just what’s really put us up into what we’re seeing right now: above normal temperatures.”

Bauck predicts that the warm weather will stick through Tuesday, December 17. Colder temperatures are expected to return on Wednesday.

Bruce Bauck:

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