BILLINGS — It turns out to be another beautiful day here the Billings area, with partly cloudy skies and temperatures already warming up into the upper 20s.
Around the rest of the state are temps are mostly the 20s and 30s out in the West, although Great Falls, Havre and Cut Bank have been into the 40s. Everyone else are mostly to the 20s and 30s.
The big story in the weather today is the upcoming winter storm. It promises the hang around the mountains and stay there for a few days, producing copious amounts of heavy snow.
There are various amounts of snow expected, but some of the big winners will be range from 8 to 30 inches of snow above the 5500-foot level with 40 mile-per-hour winds. This will cause more blowing and drifting snow.
In the Beartooths, we could see snow from tonight on into Friday expecting 12 to 24 inches of snow, maybe 25 inches above the 5500-foot level. Of course, as you know, the town of Red Lodge is right at 5500 feet.
The Big Horn Mountains could see maybe 8 to 16 inches of snow out of this event, while the valleys could measure 3 to 6 inches of snow.
Right now, the Doppler radar shows the jet stream coming out of the Northwest. The snow showers are falling around Missoula and Kalispell and are forecast to slide down the spine of the Rockies into Wyoming. This means the storm will just barely pass Billings by.
The High-Resolution forecast model bears that out. We will continue to see snow all over the Western half the state but it really isn't until Friday we start to see some of the snow in Wyoming come back to the North again to include Billings.
This means Billings will only have a ring side seat for this event with only some light snow. Places like Bozeman could see 6 to 10 inches of snow while Butte, Livingston and Sheridan could see 2 to 4 inches of snow through Thursday evening.
Our temperatures will drop back down to the 20s this evening and then work their way back up into the mid-30s by Thursday afternoon.
We will top out at 37 degrees on Thursday up to 40 degrees on Saturday then back down into the 20s and 30s as we start of next week.
TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy, windy and warmer with a 40% chance for snow. West winds 15 to 25 mph. Low 22°.
THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy with a 60% chance for snow in the morning and more snow likely in the afternoon. Snow accumulation will be less than an inch. West winds 10 to 20 mph. High 37°.
FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy with a 40% chance for snow. West winds 5 to 10 mph. High 37°.