Even though much of the country is seeing weather more typical of summer, a dramatic change is ahead for some areas of the Northwest. An early season winter blast of snow is on the way as temperatures drop significantly. Winter Storm Watches and Winter Weather Advisories have been issued in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho for Thursday into early Saturday.
Cold air will push down behind a cold front and an upper level disturbance aloft will provide the energy to produce the snow. Accumulations will occur in elevations above 5000 feet. The highest elevations in the Tetons and Beartooth Mountains could see more than a foot of snow. Roads will become slick and travel in the high country may become difficult. Tree and power line damage is possible due to heavy wet snow.
A low pressure center riding into the Northern Plains will drag the cold front southward. The precipitation will start as rain, but as cold air funnels into the region, the changeover to snow will start Thursday night. Mountain snows, heavy at times will continue through most of Friday.
Gradually the snow will begin to taper off Saturday as moisture and energy moves eastward. The National Weather Service reminds hikers and campers to prepare for sharply colder weather along with potentially very significant snow accumulations on hiking trails. Wet and raw conditions could cause hypothermia issues for firefighters, hunters, and anyone else caught unprepared in the backcountry.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Mace Michaels
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