NWS Billings - Winter Storm Briefing 01/09/2013

Uploaded by NWSBillingsMT on 09.01.2013

Welcome to the Winter Weather briefing for the upcoming winter storm expected to impact
the region Thursday January 10th through Saturday January 12th, I’m meteorologist David Church
with the National Weather Service Office in Billings, Montana.
An upper level pacific trough will approach the region from the west on Thursday, ushering
in arctic air from the north. Temperatures will begin to fall well below normal by Thursday
and Friday…with high temperatures only in the teens and twenties by Sunday. The trough
will also usher in plenty of Pacific moisture that will combine with the artic air to create
a prolonged snow event for much of eastern Montana. Snowfall will begin in the west,
from Livingston to Great Falls, on Thursday and slide east across the state through Sunday.
The slow-moving nature of this system will allow for significant snowfall accumulations.
The surface low will track from central Wyoming on Friday into the eastern Dakotas on Saturday
and will allow strong winds to develop behind it. This will create problems with blowing
snow dangerous wind chills across eastern Montana for Friday through Sunday.
Here are the expected snowfall amounts across the forecast area. Snow is expected to begin
on Thursday afternoon across western zones and will spread east, with the rest of the
area seeing snow by Thursday evening into Friday Morning. The snow will persist through
the day on Friday for much of the area, and will taper off across western zones by Friday
evening. Snow will persist on Saturday in eastern Montana, along with winds of 20 to
30 mph creating blowing snow and bitter wind chills of 20 to 30 below zero. The important
thing to note with this system is the widespread significant snowfall accumulations. Areas
from Billings to the west will upwards of 8 to 14 inches, with higher amounts of 12
to 18 in the upslope areas along the foothills to Red Lodge. Also up to 2 feet of snow is
possible on northeast facing slopes of the Beartooth Absaroka Mountains. Lesser, but
still significant amounts of 6 to 12 inches can be expected across eastern Montana.
To summarize the impacts from this winter storm, we are expecting widespread heavy snowfall
across the region. Snow will begin across western areas from the Mountains to Livingston
to Harlowton by Thursday afternoon and spread east toward Billings by Thursday evening.
Snow will continue to spread east overnight into Friday morning across eastern Montana.
Significant accumulations are expected, and so snow packed and snow covered roads are
anticipated across the area, making travel extremely difficult. Also, temperatures will
run much below normal Thursday through the weekend, with temperatures only in the single
digits on Friday. Wind chills across south central Montana will be below zero on Friday,
with wind chills of 20 to 30 below zero for eastern Montana and Northern Wyoming Friday
into Saturday. Blowing snow will be another concern for eastern Montana on Friday and
Saturday as winds pick up to 20 to 30 mph. Looking ahead, as the arctic air begins to
retreat on Sunday and Monday, gusty winds may develop across western areas near Livingston,
making for a blowing snow concern there for early in the week.
That’s it for this web briefing. If you have any questions, please contact our office
or visit our website a weather.gov/billings for the latest forecast. We will not be hosting
a live briefing tomorrow, Thursday the 10th but we will be posting an updated web briefing
with the latest forecast information. Thanks for joining us today.