7 Day Forecast
HELENA — The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the Great Falls, Helena, Butte and Bozeman areas from Thursday morning through mid-day Friday.
Officials are forecasting up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) of snow on mountain passes in central and southwestern Montana with up to a foot (30 centimeters) of snow in the Bozeman and West Yellowstone areas.
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Travel could be difficult as blowing snow decreases visibility in some areas. The roads could get icy if snow melts and re-freezes and night, the weather service said.
The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center issued a backcountry avalanche warning Thursday for the Bridger, Gallatin and Madison mountain ranges and the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone. Over a foot of heavy snow and strong winds are overloading a weak snowpack, creating dangerous avalanche conditions.
"If there is visibility, which there isn't, you would see natural avalanches breaking on wind-loaded slopes," center officials said in their report. "And if you get on a steep slope you'll likely trigger and get buried in an avalanche."
The weather service has issued winter weather advisories in the Missoula and Billings areas.