BILLINGS — Old Man Winter has been kind to us for the most part as we cross into the last third of the season.
But... he's about to get grumpy.
A strong cold front will begin its trek through the region Sunday dragging a winter storm through that will bring a big drop in temperatures (over 40 degrees from Saturday to Monday) and the potential for the heaviest snowfall so far this winter. The timing of the storm could shift, but it aims to be at its strongest Sunday night into Monday morning.
In terms of accumulation, everyone has a very good chance of getting snow, but there is still some uncertainty as to how much. Confidence is increasing that totals will be highest along and south of I-90 and Highway 212.
The Euro model (which I am leaning toward in agreement) is calling for 3-6" in Billings and Livingston, up to a foot in Red Lodge, 4-8" in Sheridan, up to 2" in Miles City and eastern parts of the Q2 viewing area, and 1-3" west of Yellowstone County.
Taking other data into consideration and extending the timeline out to Tuesday morning, the totals could increase to 4-8" in Billings, over a foot in Red Lodge, 2-4" in Miles City, 6-10" in Livingston, 7-12" in Sheridan, and 2-6" in Cody. Keep in mind, these numbers could change due to the uncertainty at this time, but I am feeling pretty good about the Euro's projections.
Nevertheless, the commutes Sunday night and Monday morning are not going to be good. Expect snow-covered roads with snowfall rates exceeding 1" per hour and blowing snow that could reduce visibility significantly. Plan ahead to make sure you get to your destination safely. The heaviest snowfall should move out by Monday afternoon with snow showers lingering through Tuesday morning.
It's going to get very cold as well. After enjoying highs in the 40s and 50s on Saturday, temperatures will begin to tumble. Sunday starts off in the upper 30s by late morning before temperatures fall into the teens and 20s by late afternoon. Daytime highs will be in the single digits Monday and Tuesday with overnight lows below zero. We slowly warm up from there.
Be sure to download the Q2 Mobile STORMtracker Weather App to get the latest updates on this developing weather story.
Q2 Morning Meteorologist