Simon’s weekly local weather outlook

Wednesday, March 14:
Rain and mountain snow likely. Cooler. Lows in the 30s with near 30 around 5,000 feet. Highs in the upper 40s to lower 50s with mid 30s around 5,000 feet.

Thursday through Saturday, March 15– 17:
Unsettled with a slight chance of valley rain showers and mountain snow showers. Lows in the mid 20s to lower 30s with lower to mid 20s around 5,000 feet. Highs in the mid 40s to lower 50s with lower 30s around 5,000 feet.

In-depth weather discussion
Issued 3/11/2018 at 4:30 p.m.
 Another sunny and warm day again on Sunday will give way to a cold and frosty night with some mist or fog patches developing once again along with some low cloud cover over some valley areas. Any fog and low clouds that develop are expected to clear rapidly once again on Monday with warm temperatures once again for Monday afternoon. Tuesday still looks warm and may possibly be the warmest day of the week as changes begin to show up by Wednesday. A cold, cut-off upper level low that has been spinning off the West Coast will begin to rotate inland pushing the upper level ridge off to our east and will spread a band of rain and high elevation snow into the region early Wednesday morning with showers likely to continue throughout the day with slowly falling snow levels. Speaking of snow levels, they look to start out largely above 5000 feet Wednesday morning before falling by Wednesday evening down to near 4000 feet so those of you in McGinnis Meadows may see some wet snowfall later in the day on Wednesday. Thereafter, the pattern across the Western US looks complicated and unsettled at times which unfortunately is leading to much uncertainty in regards to the forecast. Thursday looks unsettled as a piece of energy rotates around the cut-off low and provides increasing lift and instability for a few showers especially during the afternoon hours. Snow levels look to be around 4000 feet but could be locally lower in any heavier showers that develop. Beyond Thursday, model solutions vary wildly on how things will play out but there does appear to be somewhat of a consensus that our region may remain dry for Friday and Saturday with a return to unsettled conditions by Sunday. Again this is how things look right now and there is the potential for a major bust in this outlook but as most of us know that have lived in Northwest Montana for any length of time, be prepared for anything at all times! Looking ahead into Spring, I am hoping to have the Spring outlook finalized and posted on the website under the “Articles” section by the end of this week so check back to read up on that. And for those of you wondering, just how much snow has Libby had this winter, that total is an impressive 110.9 inches season to date, the date being through March 11, 2018 as of this writing. This is the reading taken out near the Libby airport so your location may have more or less, likely more if you live west of the Cabinet Mountains near the Bull Lake and Heron regions. It is only mid March in Northwest Montana and we are at 48 degrees North latitude so we are not likely done with winter just yet.