BILLINGS — You are looking at, what we call in our business, a severe clear sky. That's the way things are shaping up Billings Wednesday afternoon. We started at 3 degrees above zero for the overnight low, and since then we've warmed up to 26 degrees by 2 p.m.
Around the rest of the state, temps were mostly into the teens 20s and 30s, but most of the warmer stuff was out in the west. We see a lot of 30s up in the northwest corner of the state around Cut Bank, Kalispell, Great Falls and Helena.
The northeast corner still has some teens lingering in that area and Williston, N.D., is only at 8 degrees.
The Doppler radar shows the cold air continues to pour out of southern Canada and into the northeast corner. However, it is in the process of driving most of the snow away from Montana and sending it a little farther south.
The high-resolution forecast model shows that the cold Arctic air will continue to drain away from the northeast corner of the state Wednesday afternoon and then cool down later Wednesday night as the sun sets.
However, on Thursday morning, most of the cold Arctic air moves away, and it will continue to stay away throughout most of Friday with mostly sunny skies.
We are expecting generally dry conditions right on through Friday, but we could start to see a little the light snow move in late Sunday night.
A new juicy weather system is moving into the northwest corner of the country, and it looks like it will continue to dig a little bit farther south and Billings will just catch the edge of it next week.
In the worst-case scenario, Billings could see maybe 2 to 4 inches of snow on Wednesday. But the big winners will be Bozeman and Livingston with 6 to 10 inches of snow, according to the latest computer model run.
Our temperatures will continue to zoom up into the upper 20s Wednesday afternoon, then back down to the teens in the morning and back up to 33 degrees about 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
Our afternoon high temps will climb from 36 degrees on Thursday up to 48 degrees on Saturday then back down the 33 for high on Tuesday.
TONIGHT: Mostly clear and not as cold. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph. Giving us a windchill reading of -5 to 5 above overnight. Low 16 degrees.
THURSDAY: Mostly sunny, breezy and a little but warmer. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph. High 36 degrees.
FRIDAY: Mostly sunny, breezy and warmer. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph. High 43 degrees.