Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Missoula, MT

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FXUS65 KMSO 210930

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Missoula MT
330 AM MDT Wed Mar 21 2018

.DISCUSSION...Increasing southwesterly flow will lead to a chance
of scattered showers today, especially this afternoon and evening.
Temperatures will be similar to yesterday with periodic mid level
clouds passing through. Overall, it looks to be a nice day other
than dodging a few showers.

A breezy cold front is still expected into north-central Idaho
Thursday evening, progressing through western Montana into early
Friday morning. Occasional showers are expected ahead of the front
on Thursday, with showers becoming widespread and locally heavy
just ahead of and along the front. There will even be a chance of
a lightning strike or two. Snow levels will be above most mountain
passes initially, then a quick burst of snow is likely along the
front leading to a very short period of slick and snow covered
roadways at pass levels late Thursday into early Friday morning.

In addition, there is also a concern that minor water drainage
problems and small rock/snow slides are possible due rain on
existing snow pack and wet soils. The most likely area for these
rain/snow melt related issues is across the lower elevations of
far Northwest Montana such as Troy, Yaak, and Libby. Scattered
showers will continue Friday along with gusty westerly winds, but
minimal impacts are anticipated.

Colder, showery, and breezy weather will continue Saturday into
Sunday behind the cold front. Snow levels will remain fairly low
during this time, so most precipitation will fall as snow and
temperatures will remain below normal for the weekend.

Weak ridging will slowly build early next week, allowing temperatures
to trend warmer next week. However, there are hints that a few
disturbances could bring light showers to northwestern and west-
central Montana under northwest flow for the week. Therefore, have
left a slight chance of showers in the far extended forecast due
to model discrepancies, though a drier and milder forecast is
looking more favored through mid week.


.AVIATION...Through mid-morning, patchy fog may cause brief
lowered visibility in the valleys of northwestern Montana,
including KGPI. Otherwise, expect mid-level clouds to pass
overhead as southwesterly flow increases today. Occasional showers
will be possible at terminal sites mainly this afternoon and
evening. KGPI and KMSO are the most likely sites to see a brief
shower. Any visibility reductions and lower ceilings will be very
brief, although mountain obscurations will occur periodically.
General winds will be light, but passing showers have the
potential to produce wind gusts to 20 kts.



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