BILLINGS — It's a fairly beautiful Monday afternoon in Billings. The skies are partly cloudy, and the temperature is a comfortable 66 degrees at 2 p.m.
Around the rest of the state, temps are mostly into the 50s in the northwest, 60s in the southwest and 60s mixed with 70s across the rest of the state.
The Doppler radar and satellite imagery showed Monday afernoon just a few cloudy skies across the central part of the state and up in the northwest corner. This is kind of the warm before the upcoming storm.
For Monday, we have a High Wind Warning up by Cut Bank for winds gusting up to 75 mph. Plus we have a Winter Storm Warning on the Rocky Mountain front for snow up to 12 inches in the mountains and six inches in the valley.
Plus we have a Winter Storm Watch on the other side of the mountain by Kalispell for snow measuring two to four inches in the valleys and up to 12 inches the mountains.
A little farther down the state and on another day, it's a Winter Storm Warning. Plus, there's a Winter Storm Watch for as much is 12 to 18 inches of snow in the mountains.
In the Billings area, we could see eight to 12 inches of snow Tuesday evening through Thursday morning.
The high-resolution forecast model for Monday shows a benign weather pattern until about Tuesday evening, when a new cold front drops by and starts producing rain across much of central and south central Montana, including Billings.
Then overnight Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, that's when the snow hits and it will probably start sticking to the streets on Wednesday morning, messing up the commute.
Snowfall amounts for Billings look to be about six to 10 inches of snow through Thursday evening, and 10 to 14 inches in Livingston.
Once the cold front hits on Tuesday night, temperatures will drop back down to the 30s and 40s for the rest of the week.
TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy and continued mild. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph. Low 46 degrees.
TUESDAY: Mostly sunny with a 20% chance for rain in the afternoon and again that evening changing to snow overnight. Possible snow amounts up to 3 inches. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph. High 69 degrees.
WEDNESDAY: Winter storm warning in effect. Mostly cloudy and much colder with a 90% chance for accumulating snow. Possible. Snow accumulations of 5 inches. North winds 10 to 20 mph.. Afternoon high temperature of 29 degrees.