Daytime highs in Billings will drop to around zero by the weekend.

Many of us have been somewhat concerned about how warm and dry it has been in Montana this season. "Where's the snow?", ski resorts across the state are asking.  Those concerned with snowpack and wildfires wonder, "Where's winter?"

In the Billings area, we've largely enjoyed daytime highs in the 40s since November. However, our first big winter cold and snow blast will drop into south central Montana this week. Here's what the weather experts are forecasting.

Bitter cold.

Every model agrees that it will be cold. indicates a high on Friday of -3 and an overnight low on Friday of -25. Apple Weather gives a slightly more conservative prediction of a high on Friday of 4. At this time, the National Weather Service in Billings is forecasting a Friday high of 1. Windchill will make temps feel even cooler.


How much snow will Billings receive?

It's early in the week, and forecasters seem hesitant to predict how much snow we'll see over the next seven days. Various forecasts are showing a 30-60% chance of snow Tuesday through Friday, with precipitation tapering by Saturday to 20%.

According to the NWS, we could get "less than a half-inch" of snow on Tuesday and Tuesday night, with "less than an inch" predicted on Wednesday. 

Our contributor Aaron Flint spoke with Tom Humphrey, from the National Weather Service in Billings Monday morning (1/8). Humphrey summarised what to expect in the Billings area,

So Wednesday morning, not gonna be that bad. We'll have decent temperatures in the morning and 20s and 30s. But we'll see falling temperatures through the day. And by the time we get to Thursday, our highs are going to be the single digits to around 10 At most here in Billings and, and across the area. The same thing up in the north.

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Credit Aaron Flint
Credit Aaron Flint

Prepare for the cold.

Blowing snow, patchy ice, and cold are likely to impact your travels around much of Montana this week. Now's a great time to go through your winter-driving checklists: good tires, chains, a blanket, a candle in a coffee can, an emergency kit, high-energy snacks, a small shovel, etc.

Remember to slow down and pull over as far as possible if you encounter first responders at accident scenes while traveling the wintery highways of Montana. It's the law.


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