BILLINGS- Here we are on Monday, the last full week before the Christmas holiday and something is missing in Billings: the snow. And here’s the reason why: at 53 degrees, it’s too warm to snow.
We also have windy conditions expected again starting Tuesday through Wednesday from north-central Montana all the way down to the Beartooth foothills.
Winds there could be gusting anywhere from 60 to 65 mph, plus in west-central and northwestern Montana, we have a Winter Storm Watch for one of the bigger storms of the season.
Snowfall amounts could range anywhere from eight to 16 inches on the front range of the Rockies to 12 to 20 inches in west-central Montana in the Bitterroot Mountains.
Plus we are expecting strong gusty winds and healthy amounts of sleet or ice, making travel treacherous in those areas.
The new system has already begun to make its way into west-central Montana producing snow around Missoula mixing with rain up towards Kalispell.
A new cold front will start to develop in central Montana beginning this afternoon and become a full-fledged cold front by 6 a.m. Tuesday when it crosses into the Billings area.
This will kick up some winds in south-central Montana as well but then move on to the East.
Then at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, another cold front moves in from the West. This one promises to bring with it, more rain for south-central and eastern Montana and snow up in the mountains.
By Wednesday afternoon, that cold front races through the state and most of eastern Montana will be left with mostly sunny skies, but somewhat cooler temperatures.
The temperatures in the early part of the week will probably get up into the 50s, before the cold fronts moves through, then roll back down into the low 40s by the time the weekend gets here.
TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy and mild. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph. Low 32 degrees.
TUESDAY: Mostly sunny and continued warmer. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph. High 54 degrees.
WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny, windy and warm. West winds 20 to 35 mph gusting to 50 mph. High 50 degrees.