Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Missoula, MT

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FXUS65 KMSO 081035

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Missoula MT
335 AM MST Thu Dec 8 2016

...Prolonged periods of snow north central Idaho and Western
Montana tonight through weekend...

.DISCUSSION...The upcoming weather systems are still on track to
affect the region later today through early next week. Most valley
locations are cooling to their lowest temperatures of the season
thus far. Passing cloud cover has not allowed all places to reach
their full cooling potential but there is still time. This cold
air is forecast to remain in place while precipitation moves into
the region, which is a very good set up for widespread snow. Model
guidance are not showing a lot in the way of precipitation with
this afternoon and tonight`s weather system, but they tend to
under-estimate the snow potential when temperatures are as cold as
they are, so snow amounts in places that remain very cold could
be impressive. The snow will likely also be fairly dry with
little liquid water in it which leads to additional inches usually.
This first snow will fall into Friday morning before a short
break or decrease in accumulations.

Another impressive weather system is still showing up for Friday
afternoon through Saturday morning. This next weather system is a
little different in that it has the potential to become very
unstable, which will likely lead to impressive snow showers
organized into bands. If the snow bands are able to sit in one
place, for a period of time, snow amounts will be impressive
though may not be quite as widespread as the first.

The third snow producer, Saturday night, should be a good
mountain snow event and depending on where the low tracks many
valley locations will also have additional accumulating snow.
These three weather systems should prove to be an overall high
snowfall period.

Upslope snow should linger through Sunday and yet another weather
system may pass on Monday. This one could have another arctic
which could present a big impact with blowing snow along with
moderate to heavy snow, so we will keep watching this one as
models do not agree.

There may be a little break in snow after the Monday system but
the second half of next week may go back into a big snow pattern.


.AVIATION...Cloud cover continues to show up on surface
observations around Missoula, so mountains are at least partially
obscured in west central Montana. There may be light flurries
under this cloud cover as well. The next weather system is still
on track to move into the region beginning this afternoon. Expect
ceilings to lower and snow to fall by tonight. The warm frontal
nature of this snow will cause it to be consistent and widespread
so low visibilities and obscured terrain is likely.


MT...Winter Storm Watch from this afternoon through Saturday morning
     Bitterroot/Sapphire Mountains...Lower Clark Fork Region.

ID...Winter Storm Watch from this afternoon through Saturday morning
     Northern Clearwater Mountains...Southern Clearwater


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