Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Missoula, MT

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FXUS65 KMSO 271122

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Missoula MT
421 AM MST FRI FEB 27 2015



A broad Pacific storm system embedded within northerly flow aloft
will move west of the Northern Rockies today through Saturday,
drawing snow shower activity across the region. The orientation
of this system is such that relatively cold air east of the
Continental Divide will continue to be drawn westward over time. A
drop in temperatures and very cold wind chill will be most evident
along the Divide and near terrain gap features in western Montana,
such as Hellgate Canyon east of Missoula and Badrock Canyon east
of Columbia Falls. Snow showers may create hazardous driving
conditions for a time across the Camas Prairie of Idaho and over
Lost Trail Pass through Saturday.

After a cold start Sunday morning, the focus will turn to a
winter storm expected to impact the region Monday afternoon into
Tuesday. Light snow across northwest Montana on Monday afternoon
will quickly spread southward Monday night, accompanied by a surge
of arctic air. A combination of snow, gusty northeast winds, and a
sudden decrease in temperatures will likely present several
significant impacts:

* Those traveling across western Montana and north central Idaho
  will likely see road conditions quickly deteriorate with slick
  conditions and potentially reduced visibility in areas of
  blowing snow. Several inches of snow accumulation will be

* Sensitive livestock such as newborns and those with outdoor
  interests will also be impacted by both cold temperatures and
  potentially subzero wind chills. Temperatures running 20-25
  degrees below normal will continue into Wednesday before a
  gradual warm up begins.

Most weather models suggest that mainly dry conditions will be
present across the Northern Rockies from Wednesday evening through
the end of next week. Temperatures during this time appear fairly
typical for this time of year.



Low and mid level cloudiness will be evolving over the Northern
Rockies during the next 24 hours. Some snow showers, mainly across
north central Idaho and along the Continental Divide, may temporarily
limit visibility and ceilings near area terminals. Otherwise,
relatively cold air from east of the Divide will be rushing
westward, creating some wind gusts to 25 knots to KGPI and KMSO by



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