Scientific Forecaster Discussion

Return to Local Conditions & Forecast

Without Abbreviations
With Abbreviations

fxus65 kmso 212141 
afdmso

Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Missoula Montana
241 PM MST sun Jan 21 2018

Discussion...

A long-lasting light snow event is anticipated across the northern
rockies, with most snow concentrated over the high terrain along
the Montana-Idaho border. Anticipated slick roadways and
occasional low visibility in snow this evening through over area
mountain passes, particularly lookout, Lolo, and lost trail
passes. Short bursts of snow are also anticipated at populated low
elevations, such as Kalispell and Missoula, however impacts will
likely be limited to slick backroads and brief low visibility.

Another snow event, Tuesday evening through Wednesday, will once
again develop over Montana-Idaho Border Mountain passes, including
lookout, Lolo, and lost trail passes. Similar to tonight/Monday,
slick roadways and low visibility for travelers near the passes
will be the most significant impact. This particular airmass is
slightly warmer than tonight, translating to very little in the
way of low elevation snowfall.

A cold front continues to be depicted moving across the northern
rockies on Thursday, however it appears to be severely weakened as
it reaches our region. Snow showers behind the cold front may
become a bit intense for a short time, however any weather impact
of slick roads or low visibility appears to be the worst case at
this point.

There is plenty of noise in the models after Thursday, however
most models agree that high elevation snow showers will continue
to be possibility on nearly a daily basis. Weather impacts appear
low for the currently forecast scenario. Temperatures each day
show very unremarkable change, remaining close to the seasonal
averages.

&&

Aviation...an upper level wave will traverse across the northern
rockies tonight through Monday. Precipitation and lowering
ceilings will begin to affect central Idaho and the Idaho/Montana
border by 22/0000z. There is a question of when will gpi
experience the first flakes of snow. The thinking is that the main
batch of precipitation will will occur after midnight, but there
is a chance for very light snow to occur by 22/0400z. Btm will see
the best chance for light snow between 22/1400z and 22/1800z.
It's a tough call for smn as some of the moisture with the wave
will get modified by some down-sloping as it moves down there
between 22/1500z and 22/2100z. It may just end up being dry at the
Airport with light snow hugging the surrounding mountains. With
the trough passing overhead Monday expect numerous snow showers,
low ceilings and visibility in the mountains that lasts into
Monday night. There is a chance that valley snow showers are
possible Monday evening and night across northwest Montana, but
confidence is low.

&&

Mso watches/warnings/advisories...

National Weather Service Glossary of Abbreviations