BILLINGS — A one-two punch of rain and snow helps to keep temperatures colder than average for the extended forecast. But expect a brief warm-up over the weekend.
Low clouds have been developing through the region from west to east Thursday afternoon and evening. A low-pressure area your the California coast will continue to swing clouds in the potential for showers up into the area through the day on Thursday.
Overnight temperatures will be mainly into the 20s with the teens in northeastern Montana, and afternoon highs are held mainly to the 30s with a few 40s east of Billings where there is less chance of rain or snow. Expect a cloudy to a mostly cloudy day in southern Montana and northern Wyoming.
As a cold front crosses the area, we will have the highest chances of precipitation Thursday night through early Friday. Most accumulations will be less than 2 inches, but run a little higher in the mountain foothills west of Billings.
There is a slight chance of freezing rain or drizzle in Eastern Montana closer to the North Dakota line Thursday night. Snow that melts and re-freezes could also cause slick spots around the area Thursday night through Friday morning.
A week upper ridge will warm temperatures Friday through Saturday morning with dry conditions other than some mountain showers. Then unsettled weather moves back into the region Saturday afternoon and evening, bringing another round of rain or snow for the lower elevations and 2 to 4 inches of snow into the mountains west of Billings.
Highs will hit the 40s to low 50s on Saturday, then back down quickly next week as the next weather system arrives.