BUTTE – A powerful Spring storm is digging into Northern California Thursday afternoon and will slowly spin it’s way up into Idaho and Montana tonight into Friday and slowly roll into Eastern Montana by Saturday morning.
This storm will bring a wide variety of weather impacts to the region. First, surface winds have been strong Thursday afternoon and will continue into Friday. Next, increasing rain and a few strong thunderstorms are possible Thursday afternoon and early evening.
The biggest hazard with this pattern change will wrap around bands of moderate to heavy precipitation Thursday evening through Saturday afternoon. Rainfall totals will be highly varied in SW Montana but in general rainfall totals should come in between a half an inch up to 3″ of valley rain. Mountain snow is also possible with heavy wet snow above 6,000′.
Storm Prediction Center day one convective outlook has a “marginal” risk for a few strong or severe thunderstorms to impact Southern Montana and Northern Idaho.
If thunderstorms develop and they mature into strong storms there is a slight chance for damaging hail and damaging winds to develop.
Other factors to consider with possible thunderstorms Thursday afternoon will be areas of heavy rain and frequent lightning.
BOZEMAN: LOW: 45°; HIGH FRIDAY: 57°. Scattered showers and a few early evening thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy tonight with increasing rain by morning. Heavy rain at times is likely Friday morning through Saturday morning. Snow is possible above 7,000′. Gusty SE winds to continue Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening 10 to 20 mph with gusts over 30 mph at times.
BUTTE: LOW: 41°; HIGH FRIDAY: 54°. Showers and isolated thunderstorms are likely Thursday afternoon and evening. Increasing valley rain and mountain snow will impact the region tonight and all day on Friday. Moderate to heavy rain is possible. SE winds will continue to be strong tonight into Friday morning 10 to 20 mph and gusts over 30 mph.
DILLON: LOW: 44°; HIGH FRIDAY: 56°. Increasing rain tonight with a few isolated strong thunderstorms. Rain heavy at times is possible Friday into Saturday morning. Mountain snow is also likely Thursday night through the weekend. Surface winds out of the SE 10 to 20 mph and gusts to 30 mph.
WEST YELLOWSTONE: LOW: 34°; HIGH FRIDAY: 50°. Rain or snow is likely for West Yellowstone and Yellowstone National Park tonight through the weekend. Snow accumulations are possible above 5,000′. Gusty surface winds 10 to 20 mph and gusts over 30 mph are likely tonight into Friday morning.