Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Great Falls, MT

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FXUS65 KTFX 162200
AFDTFX

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Great Falls MT
300 PM MST Thu Feb 16 2017

.DISCUSSION...

Tonight through Saturday...The upper level ridge that has brought
record breaking warmth to much of the forecast area will move
east of the forecast area tonight. Behind the ridge, a short wave
disturbance will sweep across Montana tonight and Friday bringing
snow to the mountains along the Continental Divide and a slight
chance to chance for rain, snow or possibly freezing rain to lower
elevations of the CWA. Windy conditions will continue along the
Rocky Mountain Front and over the adjacent plains, but wind speeds
will likely be less than those seen today. High temperatures will
be about 5 to 10 degrees cooler on Friday as well. The disturbance
pushes eastward Friday night with a weak shortwave ridge building
over the region for relatively dry conditions and much lighter
winds. As the progressive pattern aloft continues on Saturday the
flow aloft becomes moist and southwesterly with a few weak
disturbance bringing a chance to low likelihood for additional
precipitation over the mountains and in southwest Montana. Cloudy
skies and developing east-southeast winds will also allow
temperatures to cool another few degrees for Saturday highs. mpj

Saturday night through Thursday... A southwesterly flow aloft will
prevail over the region on Saturday night, as the next upper level
trof moves through the region Sunday and Sunday night. Expect a
chance for rain/snow showers as the trof moves through. Snow
amounts mainly of an inch or two are possible in the mountains...
but in the mountains of far Southwest MT near the MT/ID border...
2 to 4 inches will be possible. A short break in the precipitation
is possible for a time Monday, before the next area of low
pressure moves through the region on Tuesday. This system has
weakened compared to prior solutions, but will maintain a chance
for mixed rain and snow Tuesday night. Temperatures trend
downward, closer to seasonal averages for Wednesday. A stronger
longwave trough is forecast to develop over the western U.S. on
Thursday. This will bring temperatures down to near or just below
seasonal average with chances for snow at all elevations. The
higher snow accumulations for this scenario would occur over
southwest Montana as the surface and 700 hPa low centers pass to
the south of our forecast area. PN

&&

.AVIATION...
Updated 1730Z.

VFR conditions prevail at area terminals, with partial mountain
obscurations to the west and southwest. VCSH remains possible at
times mainly over mountains near KEKS/KBZN.  With strong southwest
flow not too far above the surface, most sites may also see low
level wind shear through the afternoon. Mixing will help produce a
period of strong gusty winds this afternoon, strongest for
KGTF/KLWT. This strong flow could also bring some mountain wave
turbulence across the region. PN

&&

.HYDROLOGY...

The flood watch has been cancelled. Most snow at lower elevations
has already melted off and we have not received any reports of
flooding. With temperatures likely to cool through this evening
have gone ahead and cancelled the watch.

&&

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
GTF  37  54  30  51 /  10  10   0  10
CTB  34  46  24  41 /  20  10   0  20
HLN  25  43  20  41 /  30  10  10  20
BZN  24  42  21  43 /  20  20  10  20
WEY  22  34  19  36 /  50  30  50  60
DLN  27  42  26  44 /  30  20  20  30
HVR  36  52  28  48 /  10  20   0  10
LWT  34  52  29  52 /  20  10   0  10

&&

.TFX WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
None.
&&

$$

weather.gov/greatfalls



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