Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Missoula, MT

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FXUS65 KMSO 252132

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Missoula MT
232 PM MST Sat Jan 25 2020

.DISCUSSION...A weak weather system continues to move through
central Idaho and western Montana this afternoon, producing light
snow over the mountains and mountain passes, and a rain/snow mix
in the valleys. Drying is expected to occur later this evening,
though some high resolutions models indicate some weak bands could
linger through roughly midnight.

A descending area of dry air is expected to bring at least
partial clearing to parts of western Montana and central Idaho
late tonight into early Sunday morning. With the recent moisture,
areas of fog and low stratus will likely develop for many valley
locations. It is possible that fog could become locally dense,
Sunday morning, particularly along the Interstate 90 corridor
between Superior and Missoula, including through the Missoula
valley. With temperatures hovering just below freezing, slick
roadways due to black ice are possible.

The next weather system will arrive into central Idaho early Sunday
morning, and into western Montana by late morning to mid day.
Results will be similar to previous systems over the past week:
light mountain pass snow and a wintry mix in valleys. Freezing
rain does not look as likely with this system since it arrives
closer to mid day and surface temperatures will be slightly
warmer. Nevertheless, it cannot be completely ruled out across
northwest Montana.

Little change in the weather pattern is expected through mid week.
Weak weather systems will continue to bring periods of mountain
pass snow and mixed precipitation in the valleys.

It does look like temperatures will warm further Thursday into
Saturday as more zonal (westerly) flow allows an even warmer
airmass to surge into the region. Well above normal temperatures
for this time of year are expected with breezy to windy conditions
expected, especially in the higher terrain. Surges of moisture
will continue to bring snow to the higher terrain, though with
rising snow levels, many passes may see precipitation change over
to rain.

There are indications that a pattern change may occur late next
weekend or early the following week to colder conditions, possibly
even below normal for this time of year. Stay tuned!


.AVIATION...A wave of rain and snow is moving across the area
this afternoon. Expect partial clearing this evening as the rain
and snow shifts east. Any clearing periods will lead to fog
development again overnight. Fog will likely be dense in areas
for Sunday morning. The next area of rain and snow is expected to
spread west to east across the area on Sunday, continuing the
areas of reduced ceiling and visibility.



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