Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Missoula, MT

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FXUS65 KMSO 312059

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Missoula MT
259 PM MDT Wed Aug 31 2016

.DISCUSSION...A passing wave of energy continues to move through
the region this afternoon. This has resulted in widespread cloud
cover and very light showers across western Montana and central
Idaho. The combination of clouds and smoke has limited
temperatures from warming as much as previously expected. A few
breaks in the clouds later this afternoon may allow for enough
heating to let a few thunderstorms form across mainly southwest
Montana and near the Continental Divide.

The region will be in transition between the hot ridge of high
pressure to the east and an approaching trough of low pressure to
the west on Thursday. This will result in generally breezy but
pleasant conditions across the area.

Confidence continues to grow with a cold front sliding through the
Northern Rockies during the day on Friday. This should bring
welcome rain to some areas of western Montana and portions of
north-central Idaho. The front will briefly stall just before
reaching southwestern Montana that will create gusty winds and
little precipitation across the region in the late
afternoon/evening. Areas along the Continental Divide and Glacier
National Park around 8000 feet, could see a light dusting of snow
with the front.

Behind the front, a broad trough with cooler air will move into
the region, that will help keep high temperatures around 10 to 15
degrees below normal for most. Cloud cover and light rain
over extreme northwest Montana could keep the temperatures from
getting out of the 50s. Snow levels here could be as low as 7000

Forecast models are starting to hint at a much cooler and wetter
system moving over the region late Sunday into early next week.
This cut off low feature could be a first taste of fall for some
in the Northern Rockies.


.AVIATION...Cloudy and smoky skies will continue for most of the
area this afternoon. All TAF sites could have periods of smoke
that causes slight visibility reductions, with KGPI and KMSO being
the most favorable locations to receive additional smoke from big
fires upstream. Isolated thunderstorms east of a KSMN to KBTM line
are forecast, with gusty microburst winds from evaporating
downdrafts being a threat under storm cores. Surface winds will
also be gusty and erratic in the vicinity of the storms that do
form. Skies clear somewhat overnight, but smoke could still limit



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