An early-season cold weather system could bring 30 cm (12 inches) or more of snow in the higher elevations of the central and northern Rockies early this week; snow could even fall at lower elevations in parts of Montana, NWS warns. The cold front separating this cold air in the west and warmer temperatures in the eastern US will continue to be a focus for heavy rain in the Plains early this week. Winter Storm Warnings are in place in neighboring Alberta, Canada.
A deep upper-level trough will continue to dig into the western third of the US through midweek. Much of the Intermountain West will have snow in the higher terrain over the next few days, with a vast portion of Montana getting strong winds and heavy snow as a surface low pressure center slowly lifts northeast into southern Canada.
Showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop along and ahead of the cold front over the Central and Northern Plains. There is a slight risk that this area could have excessive rainfall and flash flooding conditions.
"A significant snowstorm is set to unfold across the northwestern United States early this week. Temperatures are expected to run 11.1 °C (20 °F) to as much as 19.4 °C (35 °F) below normal, with record-low temperatures likely in many locations across the northern Rockies through midweek," said AccuWeather meteorologist Kyle Elliott.
"Snow levels will dip to below 1.5 km (5 000 feet), meaning that cities such as Great Falls and Helena, Montana, may receive 152 mm (6 inches) to as much as 305 mm (12 inches) of snow from the storm," said Elliott. "Cities such as Billings, Bozeman and Missoula, Montana, are expected to remain warm enough to allow any snow to melt on contact with the ground."
The same weather system is expected to produce hazardous winter conditions across the border in Alberta where Environment Canada has issued a Winter Storm Warning.
The warning was issued in Calgary in light of a low pressure system that is expected to bring snow to portions of the province on Monday. According to Environment Canada, snowfall totals for parts of southeastern Alberta will reach over 20 cm (7.9 inches) by Monday night, with the highest amounts expected near the Cypress Hills.
In Calgary, Global News meteorologist Jordan Witzel says snowfall amounts are expected to reach up to 10 cm (3.9 inches) on Monday, with wind gusts reaching up to 60 km/h (37 mph) throughout the evening.
Environment Canada warns these strong winds will combine with the falling snow to reduce visibilities in some areas. "Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow."
Featured image credit: NOAA/GOES-16 (preliminary and non-operational). Acquired: 12:30 UTC, October 2, 2017.
If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.
Your support makes a difference
Dear valued reader,
We hope that our website has been a valuable resource for you.
The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to maintain and grow this website. We rely on the support of readers like you to keep providing high-quality content.
If you have found our website to be helpful, please consider making a contribution to help us continue to bring you the information you need. Your support means the world to us and helps us to keep doing what we love.
Support us by choosing your support level – Silver, Gold or Platinum.
Other support options include Patreon pledges, one-off payments using PayPal and purchasing products from our webshop.
Thank you for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated.