Havre Daily News/Nikki Carlson
Ice forms on his beard and his face turns red as Terry Knowlton of TK's Lot Sweeping blows snow off of the sidewalk on the north side of the Atrium Mall this morning in the minus-16-degree weather.
National Weather Service has made a change in its forecast of wintry weather in north-central Montana this week: more snow and more cold is now expected.
The Weather Service issued an update Tuesday on an expected snow event, saying snow had begun to fall over the Rocky Mountain Front and would move into southwest and north-central Montana today through Friday, with a general estimation of snow accumulations of eight to 14 inches over the plains and 14 to 28 inches in the mountains.
A wind chill advisory was in effect for Blaine and Hill counties, and Chouteau and Liberty counties were under a winter weather advisory through early Friday morning, with snowfall expected to lighten early in the day before resuming this afternoon and evening with four to eight inches of accumulated snowfall possible.
The storm moving into Montana already has impacted the region west, with snow falling in Seattle, leading Alaska Airlines to cancel 38 flights today in and out of Seattle and Portland, Ore., and the storm left some 30,000 without power in Oregon.
The amount of snow expected in Seattle and Portland had been scaled back, but up to two feet still could fall in the Cascades through Thursday.
The heavier snowfall already has started in Montana, with the Weather Service reporting 10 inches of snow at Many Glacier in 24 hours.
The forecast is an intensification of Old Man Winter finally coming to the area.
After unseasonably warm and dry temperatures in December and early January, winter stepped into north-central Montana this week with temperatures dropping below zero and light snow dusting the region and leaving the landscape white.
The bitter cold has increased as the week has progressed, with the Weather Service reporting a high Tuesday of minus 3 degrees at its station at the Havre City-County Airport, with the temperature dropping to a recorded low of minus 20 by this morning.
The Weather Service forecast calls for a low tonight of minus 22, moderating to about 15 below by 5 a. m., and a high Thursday of minus 3 and a low of 8 below.
The temperatures are expected to moderate over the weekend, ranging from a forecast high for Saturday of 27 degrees by the Weather Service to a balmy 38 degrees predicted by the Weather Channel.
The temperatures Sunday are expected to be in the 20s, with highs back into the 30s next week.
The major difference in forecasts are for the amount of snow.
AccuWeather.com this morning listed a chance of snow Thursday with a potential accumulation of. 8 inches.
The Weather Channel predicts a 30 percent chance of snow showers today through Friday, with a 20-percent chance of precipitation Saturday and Sunday.
But the Weather Service predicts an 80 percent chance of snow in Havre today, tonight and Thursday, with one to two inches of snow accumulation expected in each of those periods.
The chance of snow in that forecast drops to 60 percent Thursday night, although up to two inches could fall, and to 30 percent to 40 percent Friday through Saturday, with a half-inch of accumulation possible for Friday, Friday night and Saturday, with the snow expected to taper off Saturday night.