Northwest Montana Regional Forecast
Includes Lincoln and Sanders Counties (cities of Libby, Troy, Eureka, Yaak, Bull Lake, Noxon, Heron, Trout Creek, Thompson Falls, and the Cabinet Mountains)
Issued Thursday March 15, 2018 - 4:50 p.m.
Thursday night...Mostly cloudy with isolated showers over the Coeur d' Alene Mountains this evening otherwise partial clearing and colder. Areas of freezing fog and low clouds developing in the valleys after midnight. Lows in the upper teens to upper 20s with mid 20s around 5000 feet. Light wind.
Friday...Areas of morning valley freezing fog and low clouds otherwise variable cloudiness. Isolated afternoon rain and snow showers over Sanders County south of Noxon. Highs in the upper 40s to mid 50s with mid 30s around 5000 feet. Light northeast wind with ridge top winds northeast 5 to 15 mph.
Friday night...Variable cloudiness with isolated evening rain and snow showers south of Noxon then partial clearing with patchy late night freezing fog and low clouds developing in the valleys. Lows in the 20s all elevations. Light wind.
Saturday...Patchy early morning valley freezing fog and low clouds otherwise variable cloudiness with scattered afternoon rain and snow showers. Local snow accumulations of up to 1 inch possible above 4000 feet. Highs in the upper 40s to mid 50s with lower to mid 30s around 5000 feet. Light wind.
CABINET MTNS 5000 FEET
27 48 26 48
24 54 23 54
27 55 26 55
25 49 21 49
26 51 25 50
21 47 19 47
25 52 25 52
26 54 25 54
25 53 27 52
23 53 26 53
24 36 24 34
20 10 10 30
0 10 10 30
0 10 10 30
20 0 10 30
0 10 10 40
0 20 20 40
0 10 10 30
0 10 10 30
0 20 20 30
0 20 20 30
0 20 20 60
Extended Outlook(Sunday through Thursday)
Sunday through Tuesday...A chance of mainly afternoon and evening rain and snow showers each day. Lows in the 20s to near 30 with lower 20s around 5000 feet. Highs in the mid 40s to lower 50s with lower 30s around 5000 feet.
Wednesday...A chance of valley rain showers and mountain snow showers by afternoon. Lows in the 20s all elevations. Highs in the upper 40s to mid 50s with upper 30s around 5000 feet.
Thursday...A chance of valley rain and mountain snow. Lows in the 30s with upper 20s around 5000 feet. Highs in the upper 40s to lower 50s with upper 30s around 5000 feet.
In-Depth Weather Discussion for Northwest Montana/Rockies
Issued 03/15/2018 4:30 p.m.
As expected, shower activity was limited mainly to northeastern Lincoln County today and much of what fell occurred this morning with conditions settling down throughout the afternoon. Limited instability along the Coeur d' Alene Mountains for the remainder of the day into the early evening may allow an isolated shower to pop up there but otherwise dry conditions can be expected. Areas of valley fog and low clouds are likely to develop overnight along with colder temperatures as skies should clear some overnight and the lower atmosphere remains moist. A shortwave upper level ridge will transit over the area on Friday so after any early morning mist and low cloud patches clear skies should be partly to perhaps mostly cloudy but also have some sunshine and warmer conditions too. Heading into the weekend, the large, cold upper level low will continue to spin to our south and west over Southwest Oregon and Northwest California. A surface trough, similar to our summer thermal trough will lay over our region which will act to increase surface convergence and coupled with cold air aloft and marginal instability will result in mainly scattered afternoon and early evening showers of rain, snow and graupel through the weekend and into the start of the next week. It's still too early in the year for thunderstorms and there is simply too much snow on the ground which is a heat sink thereby decreasing instability. Initially Tuesday next week looked dry but models today show lingering weak surface convergence and instability so a slight chance of afternoon showers will remain now for Tuesday as well. A stronger storm system may begin to approach the area by next Wednesday and Thursday for an increasing chance of widespread valley rain and mountain snow but that is 6 to 7 days out and as we have seen a few times already this meteorological Spring, what appears to be a good looking storm this far out ends up leaving us with very little. Overall the next several days look very typical for early Spring in far Northwest Montana.