BILLINGS- Just a few high clouds are what we see in the Billings area in the early afternoon on Thursday.
The early afternoon temperatures are already getting up into the low 40s with a southwesterly wind in Billings and 14 mph.
In the central part of Montana, we are looking at 40s and 50s for current temperatures. On either side, we see 30s out west and mid-30s in the northeast.
Wind has also been an issue Thursday afternoon, especially from Great Falls to Livingston. There, the winds have4 been gusting to 31 mph between 1 and 2 p.m.
We do see a couple of minor shortwave weather disturbances that continue to move across the region today.
So far it looks like only one of them, around Missoula, contains any appreciable snowfall, and most is fairly light.
The shortwave closest to Billings is bringing cloudy skies and leaving most of the snow around the Grand Teton range and in the Bighorn Mountains.
As the afternoon wears on. we think those cloudy skies in Billings will give way to partly cloudy skies and maybe sunshine.
The big story is a new ridge of high pressure setting up in the great basin area.
We think that high pressure will expand its influence over into Montana and clear out the skies and start warming things up for the weekend.
In the meantime, our high resolution forecast model shows the snow showers around Missoula will continue to drop to the south and probably not come anywhere near the Billings area.
We will be greeted with sunny skies and warm temperatures on Friday that will continue to stick around through the rest of that day and into the weekend.
TONIGHT: Partly cloudy and a little bit cooler. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph. Low 28 degrees.
FRIDAY: Sunny and continued warm. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph. High 46 degrees.
SATURDAY: Mostly sunny and warmer still. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph. High 48 degrees.