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Entries in Windstorm (3)


Strong winds forecast, red flag warnings posted for Flathead A shift to more fall-like weather will give areas west of the Divide a final shot of summer-like fire danger as conditions change on Monday.

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning from noon until midnight Monday for gusty winds and low humidities across the Flathead and into Glacier National Park. Westerly winds of 15 to 25-miles per hour, with some gusts up to 35 are expected to start developing in the higher elevations around mid-day Monday, peaking in the later evening hours. 

Forecasters say some of the ridge tops in the park could see winds gusting 40-to-45 miles per hour. 

The big concern is for the combination of the winds, and low humidity, which could run as low as 20% until sometime overnight, increasing the risk of fire starts. 

The warnings cover the Flathead and west side of Glacier, extending down the east side of Flathead Lake into the Mission Range, as well as the Seeley-Swan and western edge of the Bob Marshall. 

A high wind watch is posted for the Rocky Mountain Front and eastern areas of the park and the Bob. 

Gusty winds are expected through most of Western Montana as the weather pattern changes going into Tuesday, with choppy conditions on Flathead Lake, as well as McDonald and other lakes on the west side of Glacier. 


Back to "normal" winter today

An example of the wind damage from Wednesday's storm, this pole was snapped by the winds in Bonner- Anne Bashor photo(MISSOULA)- Short and intense. That's one way to describe the blast of windy, wintery weather that swept across Southwest Montana Wednesday evening in a storm that only grazed other parts of the state.

National Weather Service Forecasters had been warning about the wind storm for several days, and although the storm didn't last as long as some of the predictions, it definitely hit hard in places like the Bitterroot Valley, Big Hole Valley, and the Beaverhead and Madison valleys. 

Unofficial wind gusts recorded across the region topped 40-miles per hour in many areas, including the Bitterroot, where scattered power outages caused by the gusty winds hit late in the afternoon. Some of the highest recorded gusts included 65mph at Big Hole Pass west of Dillon, 60mph along the west slopes of the Gallatin Range, 61mph at Bozeman Pass and 76mph in the foothills of the Absorkees above Paradise Valley. 

Although strong winds were also felt across North Central Montana, for a change Great Falls and the Rocky Mountain Front got a bit of a break after suffering through devestating wind storms last month. Northwest Montana valleys say strong sustained winds, but most gusts stayed below 30mph. Missoula got hit briefly during the late afternoon as snow swept across the valley, with a gust topping 50mph recorded at the airport.

While the state gets a break between storms, heavy mountain snows are predicted for this weekend, with up to 18-inches of new snow expected at the passes and other high elevations. 



Winds top 60mph plus during Great Falls storm

(GREAT FALLS)- There's the old adage about Spring arriving like a lamb or a lion, but nothing for the first day of Fall. After today's weather in Great Falls maybe we ought to come up with one.

KRTV reports the storm that punched through the region Monday afternoon created gusts up to 61mph, knocking out power for nearly 3,000 customers and toppling trees throughout the area.

Geyser recorded a wind gust to 62mph, and a weather station in Judith Gap registered a 63mph gust. The winds were limited to Great Falls either. Billings Airport recorded a gust to 64mph, many other stations across Western and Central Montana had winds hitting in the 40-to-60mph range.

Fortunately there were no reports of serious damage or injuries.