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Entries in Montana weather (81)


Rough winter weather raking Northern MT again today

Wind driven snow at the Two Medicine Bridge near Browning- MDT webcam (BROWNING)- It's another rough day for travelers, and life in general, across Northern Montana today, as a combination of snow from the west and cold, Arctic air from the north are combining for lots of wind driven snow. 

Earlier this week, many roads along the Northern Rocky Mountain Front were closed completely by blowing and drifting snow. 

Today, snow is continuing, and winds are driving it across roads, making it hard for plow crews to keep up. However, most of the major roads are open, although there are problems again with reduced visibility. 

Near Browning, U.S. 2 remains open from Marias Pass into North Central Montana. However, U.S. 89 is closed up the east side of Glacier National Park, when it crosses the steep divide between Cut Bank Creek and St. Mary. 

Other highways around Great Falls, and east through Havre are also being hit with strong winds and blowing and drifting snow, as well as some heavy snowfall. 


Brutal conditions continue to hit Rocky Mountain Front

Wind driven snow was creating almost zero visibility on U.S. 2 near Browning Tuesday morning- MDT photo (BROWNING)- This is turning out to be another week of brutal conditions on the Rocky Mountain Front. 

And from the look of next week's forecast there doesn't seem to be a lot of relief in sight.

After being hit with more snow late last week, and then temperatures that plunged to more than 20 below to start this week, winds continued to howl all along the Front Tuesday morning. While air temperatures were warmer, the strong winds were creating hazardous driving conditions closing many of the area roads, especially around Browning and East Glacier. 

The Montana Department of Transportation had closed U.S. 2 from the summit of Marias Pass into Browning Tuesday morning after conditions made the route nearly impassable. 

And there's more winter where that came from. Forecasters are predicting cold air will "slump" out of the Arctic again next week, combining with incoming Pacific moisture in a classic "La Nina" pattern, which should bring a good chance for more snow and cold, especially along the front and across North Central Montana. 


Warmer weather starting to reduce Montana snowpack

(MISSOULA)- While there's still a lot of snow in some parts of Western Montana, warmer temperatures and last week's heavy rains are finally starting to trim back the snow reserves in some basins. 

The region has had a greater than normal snowpack for much of the year, following a long, wet winter. 

Snowpack remains strong in several basins, including the Lower Clark Fork, the Flathead and the Kootenai-Cabinet region, where the amount of snow is still as much as 188% of normal for this time of the year. 

However, last week's heavy rains had a big impacts on the Upper Clark Fork and Bitterroot basins, which have dropped back to less than 25% of normal. 

Other locations, such as the Jefferson and the Upper Rocky Mountain Front are just above 100% of normal for the this point in June. Snowpack also remains well above average in the Upper Yellowstone, although the Gallatin Basin is about half of what would be normal at this point in the season.


Montana temperatures to soar mid-week

Rivers will continue to run high this week- Dennis Bragg photo(MISSOULA)- After more thunderstorms rumbled across the Northern Rockies to finish the weekend, forecasters are expecting a dramatic rise, and then fall, in temperatures this first full week in June. 

While the northern half of the state was waking up to cloudy skies Monday morning, conditions were rapidly clearing across Southwest and West Central Montana, with highs expected to rebound into the mid to upper 70s. 

But the more dramatic change is still to come.

Forecasts are for many locations, especially in the Western Montana valleys, to climb back into the low-to-mid 80s Tuesday, and then top 90-degrees for the first time this year on Wednesday. That's expected to release some more significant runoff from snowmelt, with rivers and streams experiencing more high water this week. 

The heat wave won't last however. By the second half of the week, thunderstorms will develop and weekend highs are only expected to be in the upper 50s with showers Saturday and Sunday. 


Weather change should help MT air quality

Helena was the only place showing "unhealthy" air Wednesday afternoon(MISSOULA)- A combination of early morning fog and afternoon haze that's been occurring across Western Montana should be coming to an end, as an incoming system helps to end inversions that were setting up over the valleys. 

Tuesday, warmer air aloft was beginning to trap smoke and other particulates in the valley floors, beginning to create air quality that was unhealthy for young children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems. 

But by mid-day Wednesday, Montana DEQ monitors were only showing air quality problems in the Helena valley. Most other locations, including the Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys, and Northwest Montana were showing "moderate" air quality. 

With the forecast for a return to mix rain and snow Thursday it's expected slick driving conditions will be more of a problem than air quality for the remainder of the week.