The National Weather Service is forecasting heavy snow for the Missoula area from Sunday afternoon through Sunday night, February 23.

Meteorologist Dave Noble said on Saturday, that two weather systems will converge over west-central Montana leading to heavy snow for the Missoula and Bitterroot valleys.

"A frontal arctic boundary will be pushing south by southwest and stalling over western Montana later tonight through Sunday night," Noble said. "In addition, we're going to have an influx of pacific moisture moving in Sunday morning and into the afternoon.That's going to bring some heavy snow to areas of west central Montana along the I-90 corridor, from Lookout Pass to Warm Springs, with heavy snow possible from Polson south to Hamilton."

Noble said the big question that everyone is asking... just how much snow are forecasters expecting?

"In this situation, there could be some wide-ranging amounts," Noble said. "In the Missoula area, one place could have 10 inches, while another place might get 15 or 16 inches. There will be a band of heavy snow, and our expectation is that band will center around the I-90 corridor. Anywhere in that region could see some very heavy snow."

Noble said there may be more bad news for travelers.

"Along with the heavy snow, we're also expecting some gusty winds in the canyon areas, such as the Hellgate Canyon that could lead to whiteout conditions at times," Noble said."

Noble said the heaviest snow will taper off by Monday morning, except in some areas like the Bitterroot valley, where moderate amounts of snow may continue.

In a report released on Friday, the National Weather Service said the Missoula area only needed a few more inches to make this month the snowiest February in history. If Sunday's forecast holds true, the record will be shattered.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Dave Noble


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