BILLINGS — Just a few clouds and plenty of sunshine on the menu for Billings Thursday afternoon. Even the temperatures are starting to warm up nicely- at 2 p.m. Billings was at 48 degrees.
Around the rest of the state, we are mostly to the 20s and 30s out west and 30s along the Hi-Line. But in central Montana, we are seeing a lot of upper 30s and 40s.
The big problem is up in the northwestern corner of the state. The threat board is starting to fill in. We have a couple Winter Storm Warnings and an Avalanche Watch for heavy snow and an unstable snowpack.
Some of the snowfall amounts we could see range anywhere from 4 to 12 inches with a quarter inch of ice glazing all over everything that's exposed.
The snow up there in the northwest can actually extend over into Saturday. Winds will be gusting to 80 mph on the eastern slopes the Divide from Cut Bank to Great Falls to just outside Lewistown.
The Doppler radar and satellite imagery shows the snow is just starting to make its way into northwestern Montana. Some of that could get caught up in the jet stream and move close to Billings.
The high-resolution forecast shows how that new storm will start moving in western Montana Thursday night and a little piece could push its way in to south-central Montana just north of Billings. Another shot of rain could move into Billings Friday afternoon.
After that, most of the storm stays jammed up in northwestern Montana. East of the Divide can expect mostly sunny skies and temperatures moving into the 50s on Friday.
In fact, Billings will see 50s for high temperatures on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then roll back into the 30s and 40s as we start up next week.
TONIGHT: Partly cloudy and cool. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph. Low 29 degrees.
FRIDAY: Increasing clouds, windy and getting warmer. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph. High 52 degrees.
SATURDAY: Decreasing clouds, not as windy and warm. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph. High 54 degrees.