Besides treacherous road conditions, this early season storm has the potential to cause other extreme impacts such as widespread loss of electricity due to downed power lines. During this time, a low pressure center will move southward into the Pacific Northwest, sending plenty of moisture into the northern Rockies. These winds, combined with the snow that is forecast will lead to whiteout conditions. Trees were already beginning to feel the weight of the snow early Saturday morning in Montana. Anglin explained that if a storm of this magnitude were to pan out, it would likely happen early or late in the season because this is when the polar jet stream - the winds aloft that steer weather systems - is most active. "Don't do anything silly", public information officer for the City of Butte-Silver Bow, Jason Parish, told AccuWeather ahead of the storm. Strong winds will affect travel beginning Thursday (9/26) afternoon, with gusts up to 45 miles per hour possible in Billings.
Blizzard conditions are possible in the area with one to three feet of snow predicted.
Residents who are left in the dark will face subfreezing temperatures with AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures approaching zero F in some areas.
According to the NWS, this weekend's storm is "only the first phase of a prolonged period of cold and wet weather".More news: Global climate strike comes to B.C. legislature in Victoria
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The heaviest amount of snow, 2-3 feet (60-91 cm), with an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 48 inches (122 cm) is forecast along the east-facing slopes of the Sawtooth, Flathead and Lewis and Clark ranges in Montana. By Saturday afternoon snow will likely be falling in the plains and valleys of western and central Montana. "Some areas may see over two feet of snow".
Snow in September is not so uncommon for the area, said CNN meteorologist Ivan Cabrera, but the amount expected is. Record snowfall is expected for NW Montana for the last week of September.
The strong winds will help to keep temperatures in the low to mid 60s for our area.
By Sunday and into Monday highs across the area will be in the 30s to 40s.
Meanwhile, drenching showers and locally gusty thunderstorms will pivot to the southeast of the snowstorm over parts of the Great Basin, central Plains and Upper Midwest into Monday.