BILLINGS — We have mostly cloudy skies in Billings on Monday afternoon. Currently we have 41 degrees and an east wind at 6 mph.
Around the rest of the state, our temps are in the 30s to low 40s along the Hi-Line and 40s and 50s in the southwest. Cody is the hot spot at 56 degrees.
On the threat board, we have an Avalanche Watch for unstable snowpack in the mountains around Kalispell from 5 p.m. Monday to 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Plus, we have an Avalanche Warning until 7 a.m. Tuesday for an unstable snowpack from Missoula and areas south.
There is also a Wind Advisory from 5 p.m. Monday night until 11 a.m. Tuesday for winds gusting to 60 mph in the Beartooth foothills.
In addition to that, there is a High Wind Watch for most of eastern Montana for 50 to 60 mph winds through most of Tuesday.
The Doppler radar shows light rain moving to the area Monday. That is all thanks to a warm front that's pushing into south-central Montana. Otherwise, you’d see it coming down as snow Monday.
That warm front is tied to a cold front that's just now starting to push its way into northwestern Montana producing snow up there. We think that cold front will push clean through the Billings area by Tuesday afternoon.
As the cold front passes, we can see rain mixing with snow and eventually turning to all snow at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Eventually all that snow moves on, and another cold front drops down from Canada through eastern Montana Wednesday morning.
However, this cold front does not move into the Billings area. We actually start warming up beginning Wednesday and Thursday and on into Christmas. So that snow on Tuesday night will be our only chance at a White Christmas.
A White Christmas does not look very likely this year. However, we could see some more snow moving toward eastern Montana on Wednesday morning. After that, it looks like a little warmer air starts moving in just in time for Christmas Eve.
However, we feel that Santa Claus will be flying with visual flight rules because the weather will be so mild.
It'll be 38 degrees at 6 p.m. Monday, then we warm up into the 40s overnight and stay there for the rest of the morning.
We will top out at 47 on Tuesday back down the 37 on Wednesday, then roll it into the mid-40s toward the end of the week and Christmas. We finally cool back down to the 30s for highs on Sunday.
TONIGHT: Partly cloudy, with temperatures rising after midnight. South winds 5 to 15 mph. Low 37 degrees.
TUESDAY: Mostly sunny and breezy with a slight chance for rain and snow in the morning then mostly cloudy with a 30% chance for rain and snow in the afternoon. West winds 15 to 25 mph gusts up to 45 mile-per-hour expected in the afternoon. High 47 degrees.
WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny and colder. West winds 15 to 25 mph. High 37 degrees.