First The Snow … And Then The Melting
The folks at the National Weather Service office in Missoula have noted this week that already we've received half of our normal winter snow in the valleys and winter doesn't start (on the calendars) until December 21.
Well, more snow is coming with an Advisory for the Bitterroot Valley last lasts until Saturday, November 14. These weather systems are not booming down from the Arctic, but are generally coming across Washington and Idaho from the Pacific. Forecasters expect at least a couple more inches of snow in the valley and, of course, more in the mountains. Along with the white stuff, expect some wind. Some of the gusts could be as high as 30 miles an hour. The winds will be with us through the weekend, though the temperatures will be changing.
Sunday and Monday, the temperatures will be heading up into 40s, with the lows in the upper 20s. At that point we'll expect to be getting a mix of snow and rain, though the amounts will be less than earlier in the weekend.
Along comes Tuesday and a predicted high of 51. And Wednesday and Thursday will have highs in the 40s, with lows right around 30. Even if we don't get precipitation, you can expect some wet, slushy conditions all over the place. Of course, these are predictions. Actual results could be slightly different.
The Bitterroot Valley has been called the "Banana Belt" of Montana because of its mild conditions versus the occasionally snow-blasted and wind-driven eastern part of the state. Part of being a banana belt includes an occasional replacement of snowbanks with large mudpuddles, usually in a matter of days.
After all, it's only autumn. Winter's still a month away!