BILLINGS — Spring officially starts overnight. The transition could be a bumpy one.
Friday was the last official day of astronomical winter and also the warmest day most of the area has seen since early November. High temperatures were widespread into the 60s to low 70s.
A trough of low pressure brings mountain snow and rain showers for the lower elevations Friday night through Saturday. The higher peaks could pick up a foot of new snow into the Beartooths and Absarokas with rain/snow in the mountain foothill areas like Red Lodge.
Rain totals for the lower elevations could be as much as a quarter to half-inch with pockets of heavier rain from Billings to the west. Rain should be lighter east of Billings toward the Dakotas.
A rumble of thunder with some wind gusts are possible Friday evening as the cold front moves through. Saturday will start in the 30s to low 40s and end up into mainly the 40s for the daytime highs.
Temperatures level off into the 40s to mid 50s through most of next week. There is a chance of off and on showers as disturbances move through Monday night through Tuesday and a stronger wave around Thursday.
The spring equinox occurs at 3:37 a.m. Mountain Time for the beginning of astronomical spring.
Friday night… Increasing clouds with rain after midnight. A low near 38. A rumble of thunder is possible during the evening.
Saturday… Rain with a high near 44. North breeze 5 to 10 mph.
Saturday night… Showers decrease during the evening hours and mostly cloudy overnight. A low of around 33.