Temperatures forecast for Christmas Eve morning for Butte predict a low of 22 degrees below zero as the effects of an arctic cold front continue to chill the region.
On Friday, the National Weather Service warned that wet and slushy roads will likely refreeze Friday night, creating hazardous driving conditions.
The weather service predicted a high of 11 degrees for Saturday. Clear skies forecast for Sunday morning will likely yield even colder temperatures as the insulation provided by cloud cover dissipates.
For Anaconda, the low temperature forecast for Sunday is 12 degrees below zero. The low in Dillon is expected to be 8 below.
The record low temperature for Butte on Christmas Eve is 40 below zero, recorded in 1983, according to the National Weather Service.
Meanwhile, snow will continue into Saturday in Butte with an additional accumulation of 2 to 3 inches.
Snow is expected to return on Christmas Eve and yield an additional 1 to 2 inches into Christmas Day.
Travis Booth, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Missoula, said Friday that effects of the arctic cold front will linger for a time in Butte.
“It’s going to remain quite chilly, with highs in the teens and low 20s for all of next week,” he said.
Avalanche danger was expected to increase because of heavy snowfalls in some ranges.
Midafternoon Friday, Missoula County issued a MEANS Alert for Interstate 90 for emergency travel only from Bonner east to Granite County. According to the Missoula County Sheriff's Office Facebook page on Friday afternoon, the warning was due to slick roads and blowing snow creating poor visibility and hazardous driving conditions.