BILLINGS — On Thursday afternoon in the Big Sky, you can see that the snow is starting to melt in the Billings area. And why not- the temperature at 2 p.m. was 51 degrees and the wind was out of the southwest at 16 mph.
Around the rest of the state, the temps were a little cool out west. We saw 30s and 40s out there, but east of the Divide we saw 40s, 50s even a few low 60s at Dillon, Livingston and Cody, Wyoming.
We had the cooler temperatures in the west, and our winds were light and variable. However, on the eastern slopes of the Divide, the winds were gusting from 24 mph up to 33 mph by Great Falls.
The threat board shows a High Wind Watch for the Rocky Mountain front and the Big Snowies beginning Friday morning and lasting until that evening for 60 to 80 mile-per-hour wind gusts.
Plus, where the wind was light and variable west of the divide, we saw an Air Stagnation Advisory for Missoula up toward Kalispell.
There, a temperature inversion was trapping pollutants in the valleys and making it kind of smoggy.
The Doppler radar shows the scattered rain and snow showers continue to shoot up and over Montana and come back down into the states somewhere around Minot to Bismarck, North Dakota.
The high-resolution forecast model shows we had a little warm front sweep across southern Montana Thursday.
A cold front will sweep into the region Thursday night, and that is tied directly to another warm front for Friday.
Another cold front Friday night cools us off into Saturday, not too far, just into the 40s.
It will be 48 degrees at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Then we cool down into the 30s in the morning. By 12:30 p.m. Friday, the temperature will be up around 56 degrees.
We will top out at 57 on Friday, then cool back down to 48, for the high, on Saturday. From there, it's up to the 50s and 60s as we head through Sunday into the middle part of next week.
TONIGHT: Partly cloudy and colder. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph. Low 30 degrees.
FRIDAY: Increasing clouds, but warmer. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph. High 57 degrees.
SATURDAY: Mostly sunny and not as warm. Northwest winds 10 to 20 mph. High 48 degrees.