Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Missoula, MT

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FXUS65 KMSO 062137

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Missoula MT
237 PM MST SAT FEB 6 2016

.DISCUSSION...Lingering snow showers, with a few weak snow bands,
continue this afternoon behind the passage of this morning`s cold
front. Most of the shower activity is focused along the
Continental Divide, impacting passes such as Marias and MacDonald
with continued periods of light snow. Gusty winds in these areas,
as high as 45 mph, will continue to cause blowing and drifting
snow, which will lower visibility at times. Winter weather
advisories remain in place through this evening along the
Continental Divide for slick roads and low visibility. Otherwise,
snow showers may become a bit more widespread this evening as the
upper level jet stream moves through western Montana, but further
impacts are not expected at this time. A general drying trend is
expected after midnight.

On Sunday, a few showers will be possible over the higher terrain
of Northwest Montana, then a strong ridge of high pressure will
build into the Northern Rockies resulting in mostly dry
conditions through much of next week. Valley inversions will
develop and persist with the potential for low stratus and fog. A
few flurries and light drizzle are possible from the stratus but
most places will remain dry. Air quality will also decrease as
particulates become trapped in the stable valley air. Temperatures
will be dependent on where low clouds develop but generally
seasonably cold temperatures are expected for valleys under the
inversions, while higher elevation valleys and the adjacent
mountains experience above normal temperatures and frequent

By late next week, forecast models begin to breakdown the ridge as
weak weather systems pass through with a chance of light precipitation.
These weather systems may also help to break up the stagnate
conditions that are expected in the valleys.


.AVIATION...Convective snow showers will continue over west-
central Montana and the Continental Divide before tapering off
later this evening after 07/0300Z. Gusty westerly winds will also
begin to taper off this evening, especially after sunset. However,
gusty ridge top winds will persist through tonight. Turbulence due
to mountain wave activity along the Continental Divide should be
expected into this evening. TAF terminals KMSO, KGPI, and KBTM
will remain in vicinity of showers, though any direct impact to
the airport sites from showers are expected to be short lived.
Impacts may include brief moderate to heavy snowfall, gusty winds,
and reductions in visibility. Terrain obscurations from the
vicinity of showers is likely. By early morning hours, KSMN, KGPI,
and KMSO could see reductions in visibility from fog/haze that
develops in the valleys.


MT...Winter Weather Advisory until 11 PM MST this evening
     Butte/Blackfoot Region.

     Winter Weather Advisory until 11 PM MST this evening ABOVE 4000
     FEET for the Bitterroot/Sapphire Mountains...Potomac/Seeley
     Lake Region...West Glacier Region.


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