Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Missoula, MT

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FXUS65 KMSO 280947

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Missoula MT
347 AM MDT SAT MAR 28 2015

.DISCUSSION...A cold front is crossing the region this morning
causing some showers and gusty winds. This fast-moving system
will be over the Continental Divide by noon MDT, leaving isolated
showers and very gusty winds behind it. The first bout of winds
will last less than an hour and will arrive with the front, then
winds will increase again this afternoon as the heat of the sun
mixes the lower atmosphere. Several areas have wind advisories.

A Lake Wind advisory has been issued for Flathead Lake where 20mph
plus winds are expected most of the day once the front passes.
This will cause difficult, choppy conditions for small and
under-powered water craft. Those planning on being on the lake
today should be prepared for a rough day.

Missoula and areas east, including Ovando, Avon, Butte, and
especially Garrison Junction to Deer Lodge can expect 20-30 mph
winds this afternoon with frequent gusts near 50 mph. Interstate
90 from Garrison Junction past Deer Lodge will be a very difficult
stretch of road due to the very erratic nature of the cross winds
on the highway.

Winds will decrease this evening setting up a cooler and breezy
Sunday, though temperatures will still remain about 5 degrees
above average.

Monday looks to be another warm day, similar to yesterday, but a
few degrees cooler. Things again change quickly on Tuesday when a
cold front moves through bringing more rain and wind. Winds will
be breezy, and could be almost as potent as the ones we are
expected to feel later today.

After the front moves through Tuesday into Wednesday, models
depict the pattern changing. A broad trough with weak disturbances
moving through it will lead to a longer period of unsettled
weather, with chances for rain & snow on most days through next
weekend. With this change comes colder air: snow levels will be
low enough to cause mountain passes to be impacted by periods of
snow, and may be low enough for valleys to see snow or a wintry
mix at times.


This morning`s rain showers will exit the area by around
28/1500z. KGPI and KMSO have the best shot of seeing rain from
this system, and could even see a stray lightning strike or two.
Winds will shift with the frontal passage and cause gusty
conditions. KBTM and KMSO will likely be the windiest, with
sustained 20+ kt winds and gusts to around 30kt being common
throughout the day. Winds will quiet down at nightfall as the
pressure gradient weakens.


MT...WIND ADVISORY from 9 AM this morning to 9 PM MDT this evening
     Butte/Blackfoot Region...Potomac/Seeley Lake Region.

     WIND ADVISORY from 9 AM this morning to 9 PM MDT this evening
     Bitterroot/Sapphire Mountains...Missoula/Bitterroot Valleys.

     LAKE WIND ADVISORY from 9 AM this morning to 9 PM MDT this
     evening Flathead/Mission Valleys.


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