The snowstorm expected to hit north-central Montana today is being upgraded in status, with National Weather Service issuing a blizzard warning for Havre and predicting a 100 percent chance of snow today through Friday and a chance of snow falling through Saturday night.
Weather Service predicts snow accumulation of one to two feet in the Bear Paw Mountains with up to more than a foot on the plains.
The forecasts call for widespread snow across the state, and some parts of Montana were seeing snowfall early this morning.
Strong east winds are expected to create blowing and blizzard conditions in the Havre area through Friday night.
“Dangerous travel conditions are expected from Thursday afternoon through Friday night, ” the Weather Service warning reads. “Those spending time outdoors need to be prepared for rapidly changing and severe winter conditions. ”
The warning predicts that visibility will be as low as ¼ mile at times during the event.
Weather Service forecasts temperatures in the 20s for Havre today and tonight, with highs in the teens by Friday and lows dipping to below zero by Saturday night.
The weather is expected to moderate by the end of the weekend, Weather Service predicts, with highs edging back to the low 30s by Monday and Tuesday with sunny days in the forecast.
Predictions by other weather forecasters are similar. Weather Channel predicts a blizzard Friday following snow today, with a chance of more snow Saturday, with highs in the 20s Friday and teens Saturday and Sunday, but back into the 30s early next week and 40s by the end of the week and partly sunny or sunny conditions.
AccuWeather.com also predicts snow today with a blizzard Friday with snow continuing Saturday. That service also predicts highs in the 20s Friday and teens Saturday and Sunday, with the low Saturday night a bitter 9-below-zero. That is followed by warmer sunny days next week with highs back into the 40s by the end of the week, AccuWeather predicts.
Montana Department of Transportation offers a road report online and by telephone, and travelers can check road conditions before setting out or while on the road.
People can check road conditios by dialing 511 or (800) 226-7623) or visiting http://www.mdt511.com/. The free mobile app is live on Google, and the Apple store and can be accessed at http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/mobile.shtml. In a press release, the department also encouraged travelers to follow the department on MDT’s Facebook page.
Online, more than 40 web cameras show Montana’s roadway and pass conditions. Road Weather Information Stations provide weather, surface temps, wind speed and precipitation at more than 60 locations. The cameras are often the most visited pages on MDT’s website during severe winter conditions, the release says.
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