Simon Smith’s weekly weather discussion

Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 9 and 10
Locally breezy with snow likely. Lows in the 20s to near 30 with mid to upper 20s around 5000 feet and locally in the upper teens in Northeast Lincoln County. Highs in the upper 20s to mid 30s with mid to upper 20s around 5000 feet.
Thursday and Friday, Jan. 11 and 12
Locally breezy with snow likely, decreasing Friday afternoon. Lows in the 20s all elevations except locally upper teens across Northeast Lincoln County. Highs in the upper 20s to mid 30s with mid to upper 20s around 5000 feet.
Saturday, Jan. 13
Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of snow showers, mainly over the mountains. Lows in the 20s all elevations. Highs in the upper 20s to mid 30s with upper 20s around 5000 feet.

In-depth weather discussion for Northwest Montana/Rockies
Issued Saturday, Jan. 6 at 6:10 p.m.
The threat of freezing rain is essentially over for the time being as the atmosphere has cooled enough so that precipitation should be at worst a rain/snow mix for the lowest valleys such as around the town of Troy but most areas will likely see light snow or snow showers. Speaking of which, snow showers should increase some overnight tonight through part of the day on Sunday but will not amount to very much, perhaps an inch or two at best and most likely at elevations above 3500 feet. That weak system will move through and leave us in a more or less unsettled pattern but no really organized systems until later in the week. The main storm system at the beginning of the weak will target areas well to our south, mainly California but we will still see some light amounts of snowfall from that system. Tuesday, another fast moving upper level cold trough will quickly move across our region and bring a widespread light rain/snow mix or light snow that will transition to all snow but Tuesday night as colder air moves in. By late Tuesday night into Wednesday, another push of cold air east of the Continental Divide may bring an increase in easterly gap winds and some cooler temperatures but except for areas in northeastern Lincoln County near Rexford, Eureka and Trego, the effects should be minimal for our region. Another, more potent system looks set to move in late Thursday into Friday and this looks to be the strongest of them all for the upcoming week. This one will be colder and should result in some healthy snow accumulations at all elevations and may be a two plow system. It will be accompanied by a good surface low so higher elevations will experience some gusty winds with the snow. That system moves out by Friday evening leaving us in general northwest flow as the Hudson Bay low amplifies one more time in tandem with the eastern Pacific ridge. Beyond the extended forecast period, the pattern looks to change rather dramatically across the North Pacific and North America as the Hudson Bay low and East Pacific ridge look to be replaced with a stronger Gulf of Alaska low and a general negative PNA pattern, something that we have not yet seen this winter season so far. What that means for us is still somewhat questionable but keep the shovels and plows close as it may prove to be a very active and snowy pattern for us while giving places east of the Continental Divide some much warmer conditions which will be a welcome relief for those areas that have had bitter cold for weeks now.