BILLINGS- As promised, the weather on Thursday has turned out to be mostly sunny and still fairly warm.
The big weather story is what’s going to happen on Friday. That’s when a major weather change hits the state in the form of a major winter storm.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for most of western Montana and across the Hi-Line and into the northeast.
Billings is not in the Winter Weather Advisory at this time.
We expect rain to change to snow in south-central and eastern Montana, causing local icing on city streets just before the snow falls on top of it.
Snowfall amounts will range from one to five inches of snow in the lower elevations and four to 10 inches of snow in the higher elevations in the mountains.
For Thursday, we are still enjoying mostly sunny skies in the southern part of the state with a few high clouds starting to roll into northwest Montana.
Even in southern Canada, the storm is just now starting to gather. The computer models say the storm will stay up in Canada through most of Thursday night.
On Friday morning, the storm moves into Montana. It will start off as rain for south-central and eastern Montana at 6 a.m. and then change over to all snow by 1 p.m. Friday.
We expect the snow to stay with us throughout most of the day on Friday until around 11:30 p.m. By Saturday morning, the whole snowstorm moves into Wyoming and Idaho.
As the storm moves in Friday morning, temperatures are expected to fall into the 30s and stay there throughout most of the day.
Travel across southern Montana and into the west will be treacherous at best, from 6 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. Friday.
TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance for rain after 3 a.m. West winds 10 to 20 mph. Low 35 degrees.
Friday: Mostly cloudy and colder. Look for a 90 percent chance rain in the morning, then snow in the afternoon. Snow accumulations around 1 inch are expected. Northwest winds 10 to 20 mph. High 41 degrees.
SATURDAY: Decreasing clouds and colder. East winds 5 to 10 mph the morning shifting to the South in the afternoon. High 27 degrees.