BILLINGS — It's another beautiful day in much of Big Sky country. In the Billings area, we have partly cloudy skies and a very comfortable 67 degrees in the early afternoon.
Around the rest of the state, afternoon temps are mostly into the 50s and 60s, no matter where you look. The Doppler radar and satellite imagery shows a northwesterly flow of air aloft.
Caught up in that flow are several minor weather disturbances that are creating spotty showers up in the northeast corner of the state.
On Thursday, the winds will be howling like a big dog in the north-central part of the state, gusting to 60 to 80 mph. The 80 mile-per-hour winds will be on the Rocky Mountains front from Cut Bank through Choteau.
Plus, on Friday we have the Winter Storm Watch for 18 to 36 inches of snow and blizzard conditions. That extends from Cut Bank down through Butte. Plus, higher snow amounts are possible.
The high-resolution forecast model for south-central Montana shows generally dry conditions will be through Wednesday and it really won't be until about Thursday afternoon when we start to see the next wave of rainfall move through.
However, by Friday, you can begin to see some of the snow moving from British Columbia into the Rocky Mountains front.
The computer models, which extend through Monday show two to four feet of snow from Cut Bank through Great Falls into Helena, with double-digit snowfall amounts across the rest of the west until you get to Billings. Places east of Billings will be snowless.
Our temperatures will continue to top out at 73 degrees on Thursday then roll their way back down to the 40s by Monday when all the snow starts moving in.
TONIGHT: Mostly clear and mild. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph low 45 degrees.
THURSDAY: Mostly sunny in the morning with a 40% chance for showers in the afternoon. West winds 10 to 20 mph. High 73 degrees.
FRIDAY: Partly sunny with a 40% chance for rain. The chance of rain increases the 80% on Friday night. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph. High 56 degres.