Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Missoula, MT

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FXUS65 KMSO 191046

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Missoula MT
345 AM MST FRI DEC 19 2014


The next in a series of weak storm systems will be impacting the
Northern Rockies today, bringing light snow accumulations mainly
to high terrain. Hazardous travel conditions due to snow-covered
roadways will be present in spots, particularly at mountain pass
elevations. However, daytime heating will limit the coverage and
duration of such slick conditions. Valley locations will also
experience periods of snowfall, however little to no accumulation
is anticipated.

The models have not wavered much on moist subtropical flow
pushing into the Northern Rockies this weekend. This system will
bring substantial amounts of precipitation to the region,
especially Idaho and Clearwater counties. North central Idaho
should anticipate 1 to 2 inches of rain late Saturday through
Sunday. While western Montana is anticipated to receive anywhere
from 0.3" to 1.00" of moisture. Snow levels will be steadily
rising during this event, but during the onset of moisture area
mountain passes could receive heavy wet snow. At this time most
mountain passes should anticipate 4 to 8 inches of snow by Sunday
morning, the exception will be Lost Trail which has the potential
to get up to a foot of new snow by Monday morning. The widespread
heavy rain and mountain pass snow will cause considerable travel
impacts this weekend.

Showers are anticipated to linger across the region Monday on
through mid week. Snow levels will be steadily declining so by
Tuesday valley locations could be receiving snow once again. The
models are still showing a colder trough digging over the Northern
Rockies for Christmas into Friday. The latest model runs are
starting to indicate the surface low moving over the area
Wednesday night into Christmas, which could bring widespread snow.
Confidence for this system is still quite low due to fluctuation
on the trajectory of the surface low.



Freezing fog will be an issue near KGPI through 19/1500Z. Another
storm system will move across the Northern Rockies today through
tonight, lowering ceilings and visibility at times in snow and/or
rain, particularly noteworthy near KGPI. Terrain will be
frequently obscured across the Northern Rockies during the next 24
hours and beyond.



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