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Entries in Montana snow (109)


Freezing rain, new storm causing new problems on MT roads

Lost Trail Pass Monday morning- IDT photo(MISSOULA)- With warm air from the southwest pushing into the Northern Rockies, drivers are running into a new problem in some areas of Montana this morning, as freezing rain starts to complicate the already slick driving conditions. 

Freezing rain started to push into the southern Bitterroot Valley as soon as Sunday afternoon, coating roads with a sheen of ice. This morning, Lolo Pass and Lost Trail Pass are both very slick, with freezing rain and a mix of snow making the highways icy. 

In Missoula, the forecast calls for freezing rain as conditions start to transition over to warmer weather. 

Freezing rain was also causing problems in the Lower Clark Fork Valley. MDT was reporting severe driving conditions this morning on Lookout Pass, where heavy snow showers were slowing traffic with chains required on towing units. 

Passes over the Divide were impacted by more blowing and drifting snow, with snow and ice on the road. 


More snow bringing poor driving conditions to Montana

Rough driving conditions over Marias Pass today- view from MDT webcam at Essex(MISSOULA)- Another stormy day in the Northern Rockies made it a tough time for driving across Montana this afternoon, especially in areas where the snow is not only falling, it's blowing. 

Some of the worst driving conditions are along the Northern Rocky Mountain Front where a blizzard warning remains in place this afternoon. The Montana Department of Transportation reports blowing and drifting snow in the region around Browning and East Glacier with limited visibility and icy roads over Marias Pass. Highway 89 is completely closed again from Kiowa Junction over the Hudson Bay Divide to St. Mary. 

Further west, U.S. 2 was receiving snowfall from Marias Pass through the Flathead all the way west to Troy and the Montana border. 

MT 200 was also snow-covered from Trout Creek east almost to Plains. East of Missoula, there's more snow in the Upper Blackfoot Valley with high winds and scattered snow and ice over Rogers Pass. Two cars were caught in a head-on crash near Potomac Monday evening, with one car catching fire and forcing MDT to close the road. 

Through traffic on I-90 is also facing a rough travel day. MDT reports snow-covered roads over Lookout Pass with chains required on all towing units. High winds are reported around Butte all the way east to Reedpoint, with blowing and drifting snow east of Bozeman. Chains were also required for trucks crossing Lolo Pass. 

Traffic over I-15 is also facing blowing and drifting snow over Monida Pass with blowing and drifting snow from north of Dillon to Butte. 

Snow should taper off in many areas later tonight. 


Snow, some blowing snow making Montana travel difficult

Winter driving persists across the state- IDT camera at Lost Trail Pass(MISSOULA)- There are still some areas of blowing and drifting snow east of the Divide, but drivers in Western Montana are seeing improved driving conditions today after the latest dose of winter hit hard over the weekend. 

Missoula received record snowfall on Sunday, with all of the valleys seeing as much as a foot of new snow. That created dicey driving conditions, especially coming on top of last week's cold snap with ice and snow already on the ground. 

However, by this morning conditions on the main roads had started to open up. 

The Montana Department of Transportation reports I-90 had snow-covered surface over Lookout Pass and east to St. Regis. From there, the freeway has snow and ice east to Deer Lodge, with scattered snow and ice, and some snow still falling around Butte. Additional snow continues to fall east of Bozeman, with areas of blowing and drifting snow and high winds from Livingston to Billings. 

The state's primary north-south route, Interstate 15, was snow-covered with ice, and some areas of snow from Monida Pass north to Butte. There are reports of blowing and drifting snow from Butte north to Ulm.

MT-200 had improved west of Missoula, but drivers were encountering areas of blowing and drifting snow in the Upper Blackfoot Valley, east over Rogers Pass. US-12 had snow and ice over Lolo Pass, with additional snow falling from Garrison east over MacDonald Pass and through Helena. 

MDT reported additional snow showers in Northwest Montana on US-2 west of Kalispell, with blowing and drifting snow and ice on the road over Marias Pass to east of Browning. That blowing and drifting snow was also impacting US-89 from Browning north to Canada. 

Highway 93 was much improved Monday morning, with areas of snow and ice from Lost Trail Pass north to Elmo and then areas of frost and ice north from Kalispell to Stryker. 

Forecasters are warning today is probably just a break between storms, with more heavy snow moving into the region tonight and Tuesday. 


Severe cold, more snow, pushing into Montana

More stormy weather is headed for Montana- GNP Lake McDonald webcam(MISSOULA)- It's back to snowy, cold weather for Montana this week, as the state gets another shot of winter weather and cold air pushing south out of Canada.

National Weather Service forecasters say light snow will develop across Western Montana and central Idaho through Monday morning, with areas of heavier snow possible at times, especially in the Bitterroot Valley.

But snow isn't the worst of what's coming.

Forecasters are expecting the most significant push of cold northeast winds since a cold snap pushed temps below zero for the first time in more than two years in Missoula back in early December. Overnight lows will drop into the single digits, and below zero, with cold blustery winds pushing wind chill factors down to dangerous levels on Wednesday morning. 

Temperatures are likely to stay in that range until late in the week, with lows in Kalispell down to -15 on Wednesday night. 

The winds and wind chills will be especially severe east of the Divide. NWS expects snow the first part of the week to be replaced with bitter cold by mid-week. Tuesday night's low in Great Falls is forecast down to -23. 


Return to winter weather this week

Blue skies come to an end this week- Dennis Bragg photo(MISSOULA)- After nearly three solid weeks of clear, dry weather across Western Montana, forecasters say one of the best chances of widespread snow will move across the region starting Tuesday night. 

While there have been storms that have hit areas along the Divide, and across Eastern Montana as recently as this weekend, more significant snow has been a rare thing west of the Divide in January. However, the National Weather Service says that's going to change, with a strong system expected to dump more than a foot of snow at the higher elevations. 

In Northwest Montana, NWS forecasters say the valleys will see a mix of snow and freezing rain, and with dropping temperatures that could create some hazardous driving conditions into Wednesday morning. Moderate snow is expected over Marias Pass, where up to a foot of snow could fall, combined with high winds. Several inches of snow are possible in the valleys through Wednesday evening. 

In West Central Montana and Southwest Montana freezing rain will also hit the valleys, turning to snow on Wednesday evening. The heaviest snow will be in the passes with 12-16" possible on Lolo Pass, and a foot on Lost Trail Pass. Additional snow will fall on MacDonald and Rogers passes, as well as Deer Lodge, Georgetown Lake and Butte. 

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