Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Missoula, MT
FXUS65 KMSO 210908
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Missoula MT
308 AM MDT Mon Apr 21 2014
Today and Tonight...The upper ridge of high pressure will shift
east of the Continental Divide with a southwesterly flow
developing over the Northern Rockies. High clouds will be
increasing and thickening up today for some filtered sunshine.
Tuesday morning will be warm with strong southerly flow ahead of
an approaching cold front. The cold front arrives Tuesday
afternoon causing significant precipitation in the mountains and
valleys with snow above 7,000 feet for most of the day.
Overnight the snow levels will drop by about 4,000 feet, allowing
at least a rain snow mix by Wednesday morning in most of the
valleys. Models have trended lower with snow levels, so adjusted
them lower in the forecast. As a result, added less than half an
inch of snow in the Flathead, Mission, Bitterroot, and Missoula
valleys to the forecast. With the warm wet day before and low
temperatures near freezing, expect snow will mainly accumulate on
elevated surfaces and the grass with a lot of melting on the
roads. However, colder temperatures at slightly higher elevations
mean roads could get slick very quickly coming up out of the
valleys. Snow accumulations around six inches or less are expected
at many area passes.
Showers will continue Wednesday, however, forecast rain amounts
were lowered. Model trends have recently been pulling the low
pressure center farther north with this system. As a result,
western Montana doesn`t get much of the wrap-around moisture on
the north side of the low. Also raised winds Wednesday, especially
along the Continental Divide, due to the position of the low and
model trends. Wind gusts Wednesday afternoon will consistently be
around 35 mph in the Butte-Anaconda area. Stronger winds are
possible in the vicinity of showers. Overall Wednesday will be a
cool and blustery day with temperatures in the 30s to low 40s,
high winds, and showers.
Thursday through Sunday...A active weather pattern is still being
advertised by the medium range models through this period. While
the models agree mostly with the large scale pattern, they still
differ significantly with respect to placement and timing of
.AVIATION...As the ridge of high pressure shifts into eastern
Montana today, look for increasing high clouds from the
southwest. Overall, weather conditions will be favorable for
aviation operations today. Clouds will be thickening and bases
slowly lowering overnight tonight mainly over the Idaho Panhandle
and northwest Montana.
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