Weather Service Report


913 
FXUS65 KTFX 231824
AFDTFX

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Great Falls MT
1124 AM MST Sun Feb 23 2020


...UPDATED AVIATION DISCUSSION AND MORNING UPDATE...

.SYNOPSIS...

Mild and breezy conditions are expected through early afternoon,  
but cooler temperatures and an increasing chance for snow are
expected this afternoon through Monday. Warming temperatures and 
drier conditions return by mid-week.

&&

.UPDATE...

The morning update has been published. A vigorous Pacific
shortwave and its associated surface cold front is currently 
moving through Washington and is still forecast to pass through 
our region roughly from 5 to 9 pm. Gusty westerly winds along with
a brief period of snow showers or even snow squalls are expected,
especially over Central/Southwest Montana. Forecast remains on 
track but did add a Winter Weather Advisory for Hill, Blaine, and 
Fergus Counties, which runs from 5 am through 8 pm Monday. An area
of more organized snow along with gusty winds are expected for 
these locations on Monday.

&&

.AVIATION... 
Updated 1100 AM MST Sun Feb 23 2020 (23/18Z TAF Period)

Northwest flow aloft continues today as a vigorous shortwave
trough and its attendant surface cold front approaches from the
west. A brief period of gusty westerly winds and snow showers are
expected once the front passes through. This will degrade the VFR
conditions to MVFR/IFR or even possibly lower during this time. 
Conditions improve once this initial band of snow moves through 
and the biggest threat for snow retreats to the mountains but 
expect intermittent MVFR CIGS for the remainder of the night. More
snow showers are expected on Monday, especially for the eastern 
terminals (KHVR and KLWT), where general light snow and gusty 
winds are anticipated. There will be low level wind shear this 
evening and tonight and mountains will be obscured for much for 
the TAF period. 

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...
/ISSUED 342 AM MST Sun Feb 23 2020/

Forecast remains on track for a shortwave trough currently just
off the British Columbia coast to sweep into Montana tonight.
Generally mild and continued breezy conditions persist across the
region today with increasing cloud cover as the system approaches
the state. Scattered to numerous snow showers will develop over
the western mountains this afternoon, then will spread out over
the plains and the lower elevations of southwest Montana tonight.
Current Winter Weather Advisories for Marias Pass and Kings Hill
Pass appear to be on track at this time. Tonight through Monday
evening will also see the possibility for isolated/scattered snow
squalls to affect travel at times, especially along Interstate 90
from Butte to Bozeman. The shortwave trough will strengthen and
move into the central Great Plains Monday night with residual 
showers persisting across southern portions of the forecast area
through Tuesday morning.

Tuesday through Thursday will see the upper trough strengthen into
a early spring/late winter storm for the Plains, Midwest, and
Great Lakes regions with Montana remaining beneath an unsettled 
north to northwest flow aloft. Model confidence is generally low
during this mid-week period but it appears likely that scattered
to possibly numerous showers should be expected over the
mountains, with a few showers also moving out over the plains at
times. Thursday night through Saturday will see an upper level
high pressure trough build over the Northern Rocky Mountain region
for mild and dry conditions. Afternoon high temperatures for
Friday and Saturday will likely climb into the 50s. Latest
diagnostic models, ensemble means, and the National Blend of
Models appear to be trending toward developing a fairly 
significant upper level trough over the western United States for
Sunday but confidence remains low at this time. mpj

&&

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
GTF  49  27  36  17 /  10  50  50  50 
CTB  44  24  32  15 /  30  30  40  30 
HLN  49  26  36  17 /  20  70  50  40 
BZN  45  21  34  14 /  10  80  60  50 
WYS  34   1  24  -7 /  10  90  70  50 
DLN  41  20  31  10 /  10  80  20  10 
HVR  41  25  32  12 /  20  50  70  50 
LWT  42  24  30  12 /  10  70  80  60 

&&

.TFX WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Winter Weather Advisory from 8 PM this evening to 11 PM MST 
Monday above 5000 feet for Cascade...Judith Basin...Meagher.

Winter Weather Advisory from 5 AM to 8 PM MST Monday Blaine...
Fergus...Hill.

Winter Weather Advisory from 2 PM this afternoon to 11 PM MST 
Monday above 5000 feet for Northern Rocky Mountain Front.

&&

$$

http://www.weather.gov/greatfalls

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Western Regional Climate Center, wrcc@dri.edu