Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Missoula, MT

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FXUS65 KMSO 261104

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Missoula MT
404 AM MST THU NOV 26 2015

.DISCUSSION...Happy Thanksgiving! Steady clearing overnight and
light winds have combined with recent snowfall and a very cold
air mass to produce some frigid temperatures this morning. And in
some cases, the coldest since January! Dew point depressions
across the area have steadily narrowed, indicating that whatever
moisture is present in this relatively dry air mass is likely
forming into some patches of freezing fog and/or stratus. But this
should dissipate shortly after sunrise. The impressive cold
overnight has also strengthened inversions, which should keep many
valley locations from experiencing too much warming this
afternoon. Certainly colder than the high temperatures experienced

Tonight will yet again be very cold across the Northern Rockies
with parts of southwest and west central Montana experiencing even
colder conditions than those measured this morning! Needless to
say, please use caution and dress appropriately should you be
venturing out early Friday morning. There does appear to be a very
localized threat for lake effect snow tonight thru Friday morning
near Polson and along the SE part of Flathead Lake. But the
potential is marginal at best with flurries the most likely
outcome should snow develop. Aside from the frigid temperatures,
the greater weather impacts are likely to be experienced with the
increasing potential for freezing fog and/or stratus Friday and
Saturday. There is considerable potential for more widespread
and/or dense freezing fog/stratus to become dangerously thick,
posing challenges to both vehicular travel as well as air travel
this weekend.

Next week there is considerable model differences in the forecast.
The large upper level low that originally pulled all this cold air
into the region will start to move out of the Southwest. Models
differ on the path of that exit and as a result our chances for
cloud cover and snow. Southwest Montana has a chance for some
light snow early next week if the exit is further west, otherwise
the region will remain cold and stable through mid-week.

Around Thursday of next week models start to agree well on a
pattern change to southerly flow as another system approaches.
This will be our best chance of clearing out some of the valleys
and starting to warm things up.


.AVIATION...Patches of freezing fog and/or stratus will continue
to be present either at or in the vicinity of KMSO and KBTM
through approximately 26/1600z. Thereafter flying conditions
should be fair with little impact to aviation operations until
this evening when freezing fog is likely to again appear. Timing
of this reappearance will be challenging, though conservatively
one should expect it to appear after 27/0700z at KMSO and KBTM.
KGPI will likely also experience freezing fog, though not until
closer to morning.



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