Posted: Feb 21, 2012 3:08 PM by Erin Yost (StormTracker Weather Center)
Updated: Feb 22, 2012 6:54 AM
A strong Pacific system will begin is moving into the northern Rockies as we speak! Expect very gusty winds over the next 24 to 36 hours (especially Tuesday night into Wednesday afternoon) which will be the biggest impact from this storm.
Here's what sort of Warnings/Advisories we're looking at so far (broken down by region):
High Wind Warnings
Potomac/Seeley Lake Region (5 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday) for west winds of 25-45 mph & gusts up to 55 mph.
Butte/Blackfoot Region (Midnight-5 p.m. Wednesday) for west winds of 25-40 mph & gusts up to 70 mph.
Missoula/Bitterroot Valleys (Midnight-5 p.m. Wednesday) for west winds of 25-40 mph & gusts up to 60 mph.
Flathead/Mission Valleys (5 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday) for west winds of 25-35 mph & gusts up to 50 mph.
Kootenai/Cabinet Region (5 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday) for southwest winds of 20-30 mph & gusts up to 45 mph.
Winter Storm Warnings
West Glacier Region (until 5 p.m. Wednesday) above 5,000 feet... Marias Pass could see 8"-12" with locally up to 15".
Bitterroot/Sapphires (until 5 a.m. Thursday) above 5,000 feet... Lolo Pass could see 8"-12" with locally 10"-18".
Lower Clark Fork Region (until 5am Thursday) for 10"-15" on Lookout Pass to Haugan.
ALL these areas are looking at visibility being reduced to less than a quarter of a mile due to wind gusts of 50-70 mph!
Lower elevations will mainly see rain Wednesday. Highs will be very mild topping out well into the 40s.
Wednesday afternoon, though, the cold front associated with our large system will surge to the south & east. Rain will mix with snow as the day goes on & temps begin to trend downwards.
Thursday & Friday look to be mostly cloudy with only isolated snow showers & highs in the mid to upper 30s.