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The Season’s First Winter Storm Watch Could be This Weekend

Winter snow

Yes, you read that headline correctly, WINTER STORM WATCH!

Meteorologist Corby Dickerson with the National Weather Service office in Missoula said on Tuesday that conditions in the western Montana mountains could worsen to the point that a Winter Storm Watch could be issued for hunters and campers.

“The weather models continue to agree and are pointing towards a very cold and moist weather system preparing to take up residence here Thursday and Friday and last through Saturday morning,” Dickerson said. “The coldest and wettest time frame for southwest Montana looks Like Thursday night through Friday morning. We’re expecting the snow levels to drop down to 6,000 feet and up to an inch above 6,000 feet. But, above 7,000 feet we could see anywhere from three to six inches of snow, especially on the highest peaks, We’re talking the Bitterroots, and the Sapphire Mountains down through the Anaconda Pintlars and then up through the Seeley Swan and that higher terrain.”

Dickerson said this change is not just an anomaly,but a signal for cooler weather.

“This does look like a pretty large-scale pattern change, and will mark the beginning of several different weather systems coming through the area,” he said. “There’s another system coming that will bring more cool weather and moisture early next week. We could go from being in the 80’s today to being in the 50’s and some places in the 40’s on Friday, and the chance we’ll be seeing the 80’s again probably won’t happen again for the rest of the season.”

Dickerson said the term Winter Storm Watch is not used lightly.

“We issue a Winter Storm Watch when we expect winter weather conditions that could create a significant impact for those who are traveling or recreating,” he said. Those who will most likely be affected would be hunters, with cold temperatures and some snow, or those who want to be camping or recreating in the backcountry.”

Dickerson said the conditions could bring the danger of hypothermia to those who are not prepared for the weather.

If you listen closely, you’ll hear firefighters cheering…

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