The bitter cold temperatures exacerbated by gusty winds will continue to batter western Montana for at least the next 24 to 48 hours.

Meteorologist Brian Conlin with the National Weather Service Office in Missoula provided the numbers early Friday morning.

“Currently here at the airport we’re gusting from 20 to 25 miles per hour, which has dropped our wind chill to as low as minus 29, but that’s not the worst of it,” said Conlin. “Along the Continental Divide and throughout southwest Montana I’m seeing numbers from minus 30 to minus 50 at both McDonald Pass and Marias Pass.”

Conlin said the bitter cold and wind will eventually give way to more normal conditions.

“We still have very dangerous and very cold wind chills out there,” he said. “That will continue through most of the morning. We’re going to begin to see that pressure gradient slacken as the day goes on, and the winds will subside, but the cold temperatures, from negative single digits to negative teens, those will continue, probably through Sunday morning in western Montana. At the beginning of next week, that cold air will move off to the east.”

As of 3:30 a.m. it was -6 degrees with a wind speed of 18 miles per hour resulting in a wind chill of -20.

 

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