Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Missoula, MT

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761
FXUS65 KMSO 012140
AFDMSO

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Missoula MT
240 PM MST Wed Mar 1 2017

.DISCUSSION...Showers and breezy winds will continue to be the
main concern through this evening across western Montana. Shower
intensity has waned over the last few hours, however accumulating
snow is still falling in the mountains and over the mountain
passes. For the most part, impacts to roadways should be
diminishing, however there could be a period of snow accumulation
and ice formation on roadways after sunset this evening.
Therefore, winter weather advisories remain in effect through
this evening. Along the Continental Divide, it looks as though
snow will linger into Thursday morning. Due to continued snow and
breezy winds, especially on Marias Pass, have extended the winter
weather advisory for this area through tomorrow morning.

Winds have been slow to materialize this afternoon, but gusts into
the 30 to 40 mph range have been observed across southwest
Montana. As the atmosphere continues to destabilize, winds may
further increase over the next couple of hours. This is especially
true with passing snow showers, which may help mix more wind to
the surface. The wind threat should decrease significantly by
sunset.

The precipitation threat shifts mainly into northwest Montana
tomorrow, with most areas in central Idaho and west central
Montana remaining dry. Showers across the north will generally be
light in intensity, though mountain passes may periodically become
snow covered.

The active weather pattern will persist over the Northern Rockies
through at least the middle of next week. The Northern Rockies
will be under southwesterly flow for the weekend with several
disturbances. A few showers will linger across extreme northwest
Montana during the day on Friday. Then a feature will make its way
across the region Friday night into Saturday morning. This
feature will enhance the precipitation coverage and intensity. The
mountains will receive a significant amount of snow, while breezy
conditions keep the valleys downsloped.

A cold front makes its way through the region late Saturday into
Saturday night. This front could cause showers and winds to be
intensified even more. The atmosphere appears to remain fairly
unstable throughout Sunday causing numerous snow showers. Snow
levels will be low enough for most valley locations to experience
some accumulating snow.

&&

.AVIATION...Gusty winds with snow and graupel showers will
continue across the Northern Rockies through early this evening.
Expect periodic reductions in visibility and ceilings. Strong
gusty winds between 30 and 40 knots are expected with the stronger
shower activity. KBTM has the highest potential for seeing a gust
up to 40 kts, mainly through 02/0200z. Shower activity is
generally expected to diminish overnight, with the exception of
across northwest Montana. This is especially true along the
Continental Divide, where periods of light to moderate snow will
continue to cause low ceiling and visibility into Thursday
morning.

&&

.MSO WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
MT...Winter Weather Advisory until 8 PM MST this evening
     Bitterroot/Sapphire Mountains...Lower Clark Fork Region.

     Wind Advisory until 8 PM MST this evening Missoula/Bitterroot
     Valleys.

     Winter Weather Advisory until noon MST Thursday Potomac/Seeley
     Lake Region...West Glacier Region.

     Wind Advisory until 8 PM MST this evening Butte/Blackfoot Region.

ID...Winter Weather Advisory until 7 PM PST this evening Northern
     Clearwater Mountains...Southern Clearwater Mountains.

&&

$$



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