BILLINGS — The weekend weather is already is starting in the Billings area with light rain showers in the early afternoon Thursday. The temperature in Billings, in the early afternoon, is 67 degrees.
Our current temperatures around the state are mostly to the 50s and 60s but we do see a few 70s around the region, especially in northern Wyoming.
The Doppler radar and satellite imagery shows the first wave of moisture already starting to move into Montana, coming down mostly as rainfall from Missoula through Billings all the way to Glasgow.
The big weather event starts Thursday with the winds of change across the Rocky Mountain front. Winds there gusted to 80 mph Thursday. Out of the plains, it was more like 60 mph.
On Friday, the Winter Storm Warning begins at 6 p.m. and goes through 6 p.m. Sunday for 15 to 36 inches of snow in the plains, but higher amounts are possible in the nearby mountains.
Around that, we have a Winter Storm Watch, which is suggesting 12 to 24 inches of snow above the 3,000-foot level in northern Montana.
In the southwest corner of the state, we could see 8 to 18 inches of snow above the 6,000-foot level and two to six inches of snow below 6,000 feet.
The high-rResolution forecast model shows the rain showers will continue to make their way into south-central Montana as the rest of the day wears on.
We look for more showers moving in Friday morning. But then by Saturday morning, the snow continues to spread from the northwest down into the Billings area.
We expect to see snow throughout most of Montana on Saturday and Sunday.
The latest computer models are still suggesting two to fourfeet of snow at Cut Bank, but Billings could see maybe one to two inches of snow by 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Ttemperatures will continue to roll back down into the 40s for afternoon highs the rest of the week with overnight lows into the upper 20s and low 30s over the weekend.
TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy with a 40% chance for rain showers in the early afternoon and again that evening. Northwest winds 15 to 25 mph gusting to 45 mph this evening then decreasing overnight to 5 to 15 mph. Low 43 degrees.
FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy with a 40% chance for rain and cooler. East winds 5 to 10 mph. High 57 degrees.
SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy with a 90% chance for rain in the morning and in the afternoon changing to snow overnight. Northeast winds 10 to 20 mph. High 44 degrees.