The National Weather Service in Missoula is predicting 6 to 10 inches of snowfall for southwest Montana valleys (south of Interstate 90) in the next couple of days as a cold air mass surges into the state from Canada. A low pressure system from the Pacific will track east across Idaho and Wyoming, spreading significant moisture into Central and Southwest Montana
According to a release by the NWS, southwest Montana will see rain at first, changing to snow Thursday and Friday. The heaviest amounts of snow will be focused over the central Montana mountains. Helena is predicted to get 12.8 inches, Bozeman 8.5 inches, Dillon 7 inches and Butte 6 inches.
Temperatures will fall throughout the day on Thursday, headed for the teens and twenties Friday and Saturday. Overnight lows will be in the single digits with wind chills of zero to 10 above zero by Friday night.
Wind gusts will be 15 to 25 mph, with near blizzard conditions possible on the plains.
Drivers are reminded to carry a winter survival kit, shovels, ice scrapers, have snow tires on the car and tire chains if necessary.
-- The Standard Staff