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Winter Storm Maps Indicate Potential 7-Inch Snowfall in Montana

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The National Weather Service (NWS) has warned Montanans to expect unusually cold temperatures and snow starting on Sunday. Winter weather advisories are in effect for a number of the state’s regions, where lows of near or below freezing are predicted.

Up to 7 inches of “heavy, wet snow,” particularly at elevations above 6,000 feet, is expected in various areas starting at 6 p.m. on Sunday, including the Big Belt, Bridger and Castle Mountains, Elkhorn and Boulder Mountains, Little Belt and Highwood Mountains, Gallatin and Madison County Mountains, Centennial Mountains, and Northwest Beaverhead County.

Travel may be difficult, especially on remote roads, the advisory advises. Because of the possibility of falling tree branches and electrical lines from the deep snow, residents are advised to make backup plans and come prepared with the right information and equipment.

Another advisory, anticipating up to 6 inches of snow for altitudes between 6,000 and 8,000 feet, is in force for the East Glacier Park Region and the Southern Rocky Mountain Front. Both advisories will be in effect through Tuesday night.

A winter storm watch alert for Missoula and Bitterroot Valley predicts 3 inches of heavy, wet snowfall from Sunday night through Monday morning. One to five inches of snow are predicted for Georgetown Lake, Macdonald Pass, and Highway 12, with up to twelve inches possible in the highest areas. Overnight conditions along Highway 200 from Bonner to Greenough, Highway 83 from Seeley Lake to Condon, and I-90 from East Missoula to Bearmouth are predicted to be similar. “Slow down and use caution” is the advice given to drivers.

With lows in the low 30s predicted, locals are advised against going outside unprepared due to the risk of hypothermia. There is a chance of frost tonight in valley areas, according to the NWS X (formerly Twitter) account. This could have an adverse effect on vegetation.

While Montana is feeling the early winter chill, other sections of the country are warming up more in line with the season. In the Midwest, Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, there are watch advisories in effect for excessive heat. In Texas and New Mexico, further south, there are also heat advisories in force.

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