BILLINGS — As winds decrease in the eastern plains Thursday evening, showers will be replaced by colder air and heavIer snow. The real cold arrives by early Monday.
A few showers Thursday evening are really just a warm-up for the main event. The winter storm will move into the mountains Thursday night and the rest of the area on Friday, bringing the potential for heavy snow.
Snow gets started Friday morning over the lower elevations, and could be heavy at times, especially from Billings to the west and south, before it tapers off Saturday evening. The period of heaviest snow looks to be Friday afternoon through early Saturday morning.
Travel will be very difficult, as roads become snow-packed and with blowing snow causing low visibility. Initial rain/snow showers, or snow that melts and refreezes on roads and sidewalks will cause slick conditions in some areas.
Temperatures will drop through the day Friday and continue downward on Saturday. The coldest air we've seen since December will drop highs only in the single digits by Sunday after the snow ends.
Monday morning will be especially cold with lows in the teens to 20s below zero with additional wind chills. A gradual warm-up through the week will follow.