The National Weather Service is reporting that another early dose of winter weather is headed towards western Montana.

Meteorologist Bob Nester said the system will start with rain and wind later on Tuesday.

“Another early season cold front is going to move through the region starting later this afternoon and through the overnight hours,” said Nester. “We’re expecting rain ahead of this front today, but the biggest impact will be wind. Across northwest Montana and especially the Flathead Valley, where gusts of 25 to 30 miles per hour are possible.”

Nester said the main front will arrive late Tuesday afternoon.

“The main front isn’t going to impact the region until late this afternoon and through the evening hours,” he said. “In northwest Montana, Marias Pass could receive two to five inches of snow this evening as that front moves south. Temperatures will rapidly drop. Here in Missoula we’re expecting the front to move through in the early to mid-evening hours and become a mix of rain and snow turning to all snow overnight. It’s possible we could wake up to an inch of snow on the ground on the valley floor by Wednesday morning.”

Nester said the biggest impact will be felt in southwest Montana.

“Southwest Montana will have the brunt of the snowfall accumulations with this particular system,” he said. “Tonight through Wednesday morning there could be anywhere from two to six inches of snow across southwest Montana in the vicinity of Butte. Some locally higher amounts are possible in the higher elevations.”

The weather will turn sunny by Thursday and Friday.