The National Weather Service is calling for a Winter Weather Advisory starting Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning as a series of strong weather systems will be moving through western Montana.

Meteorologist LeeAnn Allegretto has details.

“We're going from a very mild situation currently to a very strong, vigorous cold front that is expected later this evening to cross into the Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys,” said Allegretto. “As it does so, it'll drop a lot of snow with it along with wind. So anytime we see a rapid drop in temperatures and a rapid amount of precipitation, along with winds, we start to get really concerned for travel conditions.”

Allegretto said the system is due to begin affecting Missoula later this evening.

“We're expecting the cold front to be probably around 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. or maybe an hour or two after that just ballparking it, so likely after most people have gotten home, but then it'll start to snow quite a bit and pick up through the overnight hours and then there will be lingering snow through Tuesday morning so as far as snowfall goes, expect it with the cold front later this evening into tonight through tomorrow morning.”

Allegretto said temperatures will also fall rapidly with the arrival of the system.

“The temperatures should drop quite noticeably with the cold front itself, probably with a drop of about 10 degrees with the cold front and then continue to drop thereafter,” she said. “So we're looking at highs in the mid to upper 30s for tomorrow so about a 10 to 15 degree drop, when it's all said and done.”

Allegretto said the main impact of the storm will be gusty winds, especially in the mountains.

“Right now at elevation of 6,000 to 8,000 feet, we're currently seeing wind speeds in the 40 to 50 mile an hour range, which will actually increase into the 60 mile an hour range,” she said. “But down here in the valleys we're looking at possibly up to 30 mile per hour winds sustained with occasional gusts to 40 miles per hour.”

The NWS stated that this event does not appear to be as strong as the recent Jan. 12-13, 2021 wind event where many valley locations were impacted with damaging wind.


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