Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Missoula, MT

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FXUS65 KMSO 131043

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Missoula MT
343 AM MST Wed Dec 13 2017

...Light Snow Returns to the Area Today...
...Additional Snow Accumulations Friday into Saturday...

.DISCUSSION...A quick moving weather disturbance will bring a
round of light snow to much of west-central Montana and north-
central Idaho beginning mid morning and continuing through mid
afternoon. Forecast models have trended slightly higher with snow
amounts but still amounts are expected to be light (up an inch for
most areas with isolated totals of 2-3 inches). Travelers should
be prepared for minor travel inconveniences as roadways become
snow covered for a time and a little extra time is needed to reach

Snow will quickly end late this afternoon with a return to valley
low clouds and areas of freezing fog later tonight continuing into
Friday morning as high pressure re-establishes itself.

A cold front is progged to drop southeastward into north-central
Idaho and western Montana by mid to late Friday. This will
support a period of widespread snowfall, and breezy west winds
will increase particularly for the terrain of western Montana.
The best chance for snowfall accumulations will be over mountain
pass locations such as Lookout, Lolo, Whitebird Hill, Lost Trail,
and Marias Passes where around 2-4 inches may be possible. Lower
elevation valleys could see anywhere from a trace to 2 inches of
snow Friday night through mid day Saturday. Lingering snow
showers are expected to continue through Saturday under an active
northwest flow pattern.

There has been a few changes to the forecast. A trend to a much
drier pattern begins Sunday as models now indicate a quick
rebuilding of high pressure. This may support the return of
patchy freezing fog Sunday morning, especially for the valleys
that have had precedent snowfall.

The next feature beginning Monday into Tuesday is forecast to
bring snow accumulations to northwest Montana and portions of
north-central Idaho, with breezy winds also returning over the
western Montana terrain. Model solutions diverge dramatically
thereafter, but an active, snowier regime over the area looks to
be favored.


.AVIATION...Fairly widespread light snow will impact west-central
Montana and north-central Idaho mid-morning through mid-afternoon
leading to a period of reduced visibility and lower ceilings,
impacting KMSO, KBTM, and KSMN. Abundant stratus is present across
Northwest Montana and is expected to remain an issue throughout
much of today with an occasional light snow flurry. Precipitation
will quickly end late this afternoon with the potential for low
stratus and areas of freezing fog to return again tonight into
Friday morning for most valleys.



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