Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Great Falls, MT

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FXUS65 KTFX 221953

153 PM MDT Wed Oct 22 2014

This Afternoon through Friday Evening...Plenty of clear skies across
the region this aftn as a weak high pressure ridge traverses the
state.  But latest visible satellite imagery already shows leading
edge of high cloud cover associated with a shortwave trof moving
through WA/OR reaching the northwest corner of MT.  This shortwave
is the first of several that will eject from a very deep and cold
closed low pressure system anchored in the Gulf of Alaska over the
next several days.  Though water vapor satellite imagery shows a
good-sized moisture plume accompanying this wave, it also indicates a
distinct split in the plume with much of the moisture heading into
southern BC/Alberta and the secondary swath heading across southern
Idaho.  That leaves our region in the low-moisture area between the
swaths, which is very well depicted in current forecast model
solutions that indicate widespread increasing clouds tonight and
tomorrow but any notable precipitation stays along the Continental
Divide, with some spotty showers over southwest MT.  As the trof
axis goes by Thurs aftn, mid- and upper-level winds increase
strongly over western portions of Glacier/Teton/Pondera counties and
continue into Fri morning.  Although the situation is overall
marginal for warning-criteria winds (58 mph or more), consistent
model solutions over past several runs gave us enough confidence to
post a high wind watch for the northern/southern Rocky Mtn Front
areas for Thurs/6pm to Fri/noon.  Other than the strong winds,
Friday`s weather still looking quiet as westerly downslope flow
should keep the foothills and plains precipitation-free.  High
temperatures remaining in the low-mid 60s on Thurs/Fri.

Friday Night through Wednesday...Long term models in relatively good
agreement with larger features and timing, but showing some
differences in finer details. Period starts with an upper level high
pressure ridge covering much of the western U.S. with the next in
the series of low pressure troughs approaching from the west. Both
GFS and ECMWF show several small weather systems embedded in the
trough in a disorganized fashion though placement and strength of
these small systems varies between the models. At this time, the
trough is expected to push into central Montana late Saturday
afternoon or Saturday night, and may bring some precipitation,
mainly to the west and southwest mountains. With the current
progressive pattern, the trough moves off to the east fairly
quickly, and the high pressure barely has a chance to start
rebuilding Tuesday before the next area of low pressure sweeps in
Tuesday night. These back to back troughs are expected to bring in
some slightly colder air. Once again, could see some precipitation
with trough passages the middle of next week, but best chances
for this remain over the mountains.


Mostly clear skies but windy conditions are expected over the Rocky
Mountain Front and adjacent Plains through the afternoon today.
Expect increasing mid/high level clouds over the region tonight.
Otherwise VFR conditions will prevail. Brusda


GTF  45  65  46  60 /  10  10  10  10
CTB  41  63  41  58 /  10  10  10  10
HLN  40  66  44  61 /  10  10  20  20
BZN  33  65  39  61 /   0  10  20  10
WEY  24  52  31  51 /   0  10  20  10
DLN  37  63  42  59 /  10  10  20  20
HVR  39  69  43  63 /   0  10  10  10
LWT  40  67  43  61 /  10  10  10  10


HIGH WIND WATCH from Thursday evening through Friday morning
Northern Rocky Mountain Front...Southern Rocky Mountain Front.


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