BILLINGS — It was so nice in Billings in the early afternoon that it's hard to believe we are expecting an Arctic cold front to move through later Tuesday night.
In fact, at 2 p.m., we have partly cloudy skies and 52 degrees in Billings, with a southwest wind at 7 mph.
The Arctic cold front was along the Hi-Line in the afternoon. Temperatures there \were in the 30s. You can see 50s and even 60s across the rest of Montana.
Yes, this will be a shock to some people as we trade in our sunshine and nice weather to wintry and cold weather.
Right now, the Doppler radar shows light rain and snow moving into the northern part of the state. Those showers are expected to follow the jet stream into south-central Montana and northeastern Wyoming.
Currently, that's the same spot where we have a Winter Weather Advisory until 11 a.m. Wednesday. We can expect 1 to 3 inches of snow in the lower elevation, and as much is 5 inches near the mountains.
And that's the thing about this storm. It looks like it's going to be more about icing conditions on the roadways than heavy snow causing problems.
The high-resolution forecast model shows that cold air and snow continue to drop all we down into the Billings area by about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.
It should snow most of the night and into part of Wednesday morning, but move out by 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
After that, high pressure and even a warm front will move in on Thursday afternoon to clear out the skies and start warming up the temperatures.
In Billings, we're expecting maybe 1 to 2 inches of snow out of this event. If it continues to snow into Wednesday afternoon, we could see maybe even a little more, possibly as much is 2 to 4 inches.
Our temperatures will continue to slide from 50s all we down to the 20s by Wednesday morning and then stay there for the afternoon.
However, the temperatures will bounce right back up into the 50s again on Friday and Saturday, only to drop down into the 20s on Sunday.
TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy with an 80% chance for rain and snow likely in the evening, then snow overnight with accumulations around an inch or less. Northeast winds 5 to 15 mph. Low 22 degrees.
WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy and much colder. There is an 80% chance for snow in the morning dissipating by the afternoon. Snow accumulations of around another inch expected. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph. High 27 degrees.
THURSDAY: Mostly sunny and warmer. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph. High 42 degrees.