Simon Smith’s weekly weather discussion

Wednesday, Jan. 17
Mild with a slight chance of valley rain showers and mountain snow showers. Lows in the mid 20s to near 30 with upper 20s around 5000 feet. Highs in the 30s with upper 20s to lower 30s around 5000 feet.
Thursday, Jan. 18
Valley rain or snow showers and mountain snow showers likely early then snow showers likely all ele-vations by later in the day. Turning cooler. Lows in the upper 20s to lower 30s all elevations. Highs in the lower to mid 30s with temperatures steady in the upper 20s to near 30 around 5000 feet then falling in the afternoon.
Friday through Sunday, Jan. 19 and 21
Unsettled with a chance of snow showers each day except for a chance of more widespread snow late Saturday into Sunday. Lows in the upper teens to mid 20s with upper teens around 5000 feet. Highs in the upper 20s to lower 30s with lower 20s around 5000 feet.
In-depth weather discussion for Northwest Montana/Rockies
Issued Saturday, Jan. 14 at 3:15 p.m.
Lots of low clouds, patchy fog and pockets of driz-zle and very light rain cover all valleys across Lincoln and Sanders Counties this afternoon with the moun-tains above about 6000 feet in brilliant sunshine. Higher elevations can continue to expect mostly clear skies except for perhaps the mountains across far northeastern Lincoln County near Eureka where a few clouds and possibly even a flurry or two may be squeezed out as a weak system dives south out of Canada east of the Continental Divide. Some easterly winds may develop later tonight through Monday which may help to break up the low clouds across the valley areas especially around Eureka and west of the Cabinet Mountains while other areas like Libby may see some partial clearing. Winds and gradients relax Monday night which should allow a quick drop in temperatures and a return of at least areas of valley fog and low clouds. Tuesday through the rest of the forecast period looks active although no big storms appear likely. The first weak and splitting system will come through late Tuesday and overnight bringing a chance for some light valley rain and snow and moun-tain snow although places like Eureka and Trego may not see anything from that system. Weak shortwave ridging builds in briefly on Wednesday for a mostly dry day except for a chance of showers later in the day ahead of a stronger system due in on Thursday. This system should bring more widespread valley rain switching to snow and mountain snow followed by a colder and more unstable airmass that looks to last through the weekend. There is the possibility of a more prolonged period of light to moderate snowfall region wide later Saturday into Sunday that may de-liver some significant snows to the region so check back often for updates and keep the shovels and plows handy.
Simon Smith is a local weather enthusiast. More about Simon and up to date weather infor-mation can be found by visiting his website at www.simonsweather.
org