Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Missoula, MT

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FXUS65 KMSO 032038

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Missoula MT
238 PM MDT Fri Apr 3 2020


Cold air aloft will remain over the Northern Rockies through
Saturday. Vigorous snow showers that quickly drop visibility will
continue to develop across the region through late this evening. Low
elevation roadways are anticipated to be mostly unaffected by the
snowfall, however roadways near mountain passes may become slick
immediately after any snow shower passes. Snow activity is expected
to diminish overnight, with most snow showers hugging terrain near
the Continental Divide. Aside from a few inches of snow at high
elevations, little or no snow accumulation is expected at lower
elevations (including population centers). Temperatures will remain
quite cool for early April.

A closed low pressure system moving south along the Pacific NW
coast, will introduce a moist southwesterly flow over the Northern
Rockies late Saturday evening, through Monday. This will promote
another round of afternoon and evening rain/snow showers for the
region. While most valley locations will see rain, the mountain passes
are expected to experience quick burst of moderate snowfall.
Under the heavier showers, the valleys may see snow mixing with
the rain, however no accumulations are expected.

Conditions will begin to dry out during the day Tuesday, with
Wednesday and Thursday being the driest and warmest days of the
week. Temperatures during these two days are finally expected to
warm back to normal, with some valleys seeing above normal

Though the details remain uncertain, another active period is
likely to move back over the Northern Rockies by late Friday, and
continuing through next weekend. Long range forecast models are
indicating another shot of cold air and moisture moving south out
of Canada during this time, but confidence is murky on how far
west and south it ultimately makes it. At least areas along the
Continental Divide, may see a return of wintry conditions.



Vigorous snow showers will continue to be present across the
Northern Rockies air space through 04/0800Z, quickly reducing
visibility and ceiling at times, as well as producing with gusts
near 25 knots. KGPI and KMSO terminals are likely to be impacted by
these snow showers for roughly 30 minutes per occurrence through
04/0300Z. Thereafter, most snow showers will be confined to high
terrain near the Continental Divide. Terrain obscurations will be
common through 04/0800Z, becoming more confined to near the Divide



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