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748
FXUS65 KMSO 272142
AFDMSO

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Missoula MT
242 PM MST THU NOV 27 2014

.DISCUSSION...Generally light precipitation, which has remained
confined mostly to higher terrain, continues to stream across the
Northern Rockies. Warm southerly flow has allowed temperatures in
select locations, such as the Bitterroot valley and points north,
experience a warming of temperatures into the 50s today. A similar
situation should be expected for most of the day tomorrow, as
Friday will be the final "warm" day before the arctic front moves
in, with bouts of rain continuing in valleys through Friday afternoon.

The models are still indicating a moisture plume that will be
streaming into the Northern Rockies Friday night through Saturday.
Snow levels will be fairly high during the onset of steady
precipitation, so valley locations will experience rain while the
higher terrain gets snow. An arctic front is anticipated to push
into northwest Montana Friday night as well. This arctic front
will cause snow levels to drop dramatically and create strong
easterly winds. Rain across northwest Montana will quickly change
over to snow, with snow production becoming enhanced along the
front. The strong easterly winds will combine with this snowfall
to create potential areas of blowing and drifting snow.

With all of the above-mentioned conditions, impacts to weekend
holiday travel could be great. As of now, our main areas of
concern will be the valleys of along the Continental Divide, and
also along Highway 93 from Eureka to Arlee. A Winter Storm Watch
has been issued for these areas.

A secondary front dropping out of British Columbia on Saturday will
push the moisture plume southward. This front will cause cooler
temperatures and snow levels to drop even further. This front
could push the moisture southward enough to keep it from
interacting with the arctic front over west central Montana and
north central Idaho. These areas will experience rain changing to
snow, but the amounts do not appear to be as significant as what
northwest Montana will receive.

A cold airmass will settle over the Northern Rockies Saturday
night into Sunday as the two front push out of the area. This
airmass will allow temperatures to drop dramatically, with
western Montana having lows in the single digits to below zero by
Sunday morning. North central Idaho will also be cold Sunday
morning, with minimum temperatures in the 20s and 30s.

Cold temperatures will continue early next week, with a gradual
moderation as the week progresses under a general westerly flow
aloft. There will be a potential for unsettled periods with
rain/snow possible, although there is considerable uncertainty
with precipitation timing and amounts.

&&

.AVIATION...Rain showers will spread across the region beginning
later tonight and continue through the day Friday. Some areas of
lingering fog could develop at area terminals through morning,
due to lingering mild temps and damp conditions. The main impact
will occur by late Friday afternoon and evening, as the arctic
front entering northwest Montana will bring about a significant
change in wind direction, precipitation type, duration, and
intensity for all terminals. Expect persistent inclement flying
conditions through at least Sunday.


&&

.MSO WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
MT...WINTER STORM WATCH from Friday afternoon through Saturday
     afternoon Flathead/Mission Valleys...Kootenai/Cabinet
     Region...Potomac/Seeley Lake Region...West Glacier Region.

ID...None.
&&

$$





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