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Early-Season Snow Piles Up as Cold Front Plunges South

watches and warning

A cold front, bring a chilly Canadian airmass, has started it’s dive into the Intermountain West and is expected to bring winter-like conditions to parts of Montana, Wyoming and Colorado.

Winter storm warnings have been issued for parts of northwestern Montana, along with additional winter weather advisories and winter storm watches that extend into parts of northern Wyoming.



Overnight Tuesday, some locations in northwestern Montana saw upward of tow inches of snow, especially in the higher elevations. But the heaviest snow isn’t likely to start until Wednesday afternoon, when a surge of moisture moves northward. That surge of moisture, coupled with increasing lift from an upper-level system diving out of Canada, is likely to produce unseasonably high snow totals. Through Thursday morning, snowfall totals of 6 to 12 inches are possible above 5,000 feet. Below 5,000 feet, 4 to 8 inches of snow is more likely. If you’re traveling through these areas, roads will probably be slick and hazardous. So, use extreme caution if driving in the area.

As Thursday rolls around, the chance for snow will move into northern Wyoming. The system could put down as much as 10 inches of snow in the higher elevations.


Thursday night, a few snow showers are possible in southern Wyoming and northern Colorado. Accumulations don’t look like they’ll amount to much, but the forecast bears watching over the next 24 hours.

Denver and the Front Range could also have a few, brief snow showers before noon, local time. No accumulation is expected at this time.

Chilly Air


Of course with the chance of snow, we’re talking about much cooler temperatures in the forecast. Here’s the latest:

Wednesday afternoon, cooler air will be settling in to places like the Twin Cities, Omaha and Duluth, Minn. High temperatures in the Arrowhead of Minnesota will be hard-pressed to make it to 50 degrees, while Minneapolis is likely to stay in the upper 50s through the afternoon.

Thursday morning lows across the Dakotas and Montana look to bottom out in the mid-30s, but some locations could push below the freezing mark. This means some people could be looking at their first frost of the season. So, if you live in this areas it’s a a good idea to take tender vegetation indoors.

Thursday afternoon, the cold front and trailing chilly air will push past Chicago much cooler afternoon highs. Expect temperatures to top out in the mid-60s, a far cry from the near-80 degree temperature of Monday.

Friday, the cool air across the northern tier of the country will begin to moderate a bit. That said, you’ll still need a jacket throughout the day. Highs will mainly be in the upper 40s and low 50s, especially in the Great Lakes region. Highs from Oklahoma City to Chicago will be in the low to mid-60s.

Meteorologist Alan Raymond

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