If you've ever walked from a warm room directly into a commercial deep freeze unit you have some idea of what it be like in Montana at the end of this week.

And if you're still basking in the record-breaking mid-70s sunshine we had just a few days ago, the transition, even for Montana, is going to be severe, dropping by nearly 60 degrees.

So be ready to not only deal with our first snow this week, but temps that could hit the low teens, and even single digits to near zero, depending on your location.

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Much of the attention the past few days has been focused on the quick arrival of snow, which could bring several inches to the high country, especially along the Divide and even drop the first couple of inches of snow into the Western Montana valleys through Thursday.

But perhaps the bigger development will be the rapid switch to mid-winter-like temperatures in the second half of the week in the wake of that Arctic cold front.

NWS graphic
NWS graphic

The National Weather Service is forecasting daytime highs in Missoula will barely break freezing Thursday through Saturday. But overnight lows are expected to drop into the low-to-mid teens.

However, the forecast is lower in these spots

The current forecast shows Hamilton dropping to just 11 degrees by Friday night, with Seeley Lake dropping to 7 degrees Thursday night and 4 degrees on Friday night. Deer Lodge could plunge to 3. And there are some locations, especially at higher elevations like Rogers Pass, that may chill to zero.

And the threat of snow will continue into the weekend

Although the main snow impacts will be focused on Wednesday and Thursday, NWS is tracking the chance for more snow into the weekend. Temperatures aren't expected to moderate until next week.

Montana's Top 10 Record-Setting Wild Weather Events

Montana is named Big Sky Country for several reasons, not only grandiose Sunsets but impressive weather events as well! Ask any Montana resident who has scoffed at the idea of tossing a blanket or snow shovel in the trunk of the car ” just in case”. Here is a list of Montana's Top 10 Record-Setting Wild Weather Events

Gallery Credit: Brian Lee

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