While the long-range winter forecast for north-central Montana is uncertain, meteorologists are expecting another early taste of wintry weather this week as a Canadian cold front pushes into the area.
The National Weather Service forecast this morning predicts a chance of rain and snow starting Tuesday night, with below-zero temperatures predicted by Saturday night.
Weather Service in October said the long-range forecast for the winter was uncertain, with much depending on what happened in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
Earlier in the summer, warm surface temperatures there were expected to develop, which tends to lead to warmer-than-normal and drier-than-normal winters in Montana.
With the temperature in the equatorial Pacific not increasing as much as expected, what will develop in later months is not certain. The Weather Service, however, along with “Farmers’ Almanac” and “The Old Farmer’s Almanac, ” does predict the winter as likely to be slightly warmer and slightly drier than normal — although that is relative, with colder temperatures and snowfall still possible, simply above the norm.
But this week is likely to see winter.
Weather service predicts a low of 36 Tuesday night with a 20 percent chance of snow and rainshowers and a 20 percent chance of rain Wednesday.
Weather service predicts the temperature to drop to 31 Wednesday night with a 30 percent chance of rain and snow, with a high of 35 and a 60 percent chance of snow Thursday.
The snow is expected to sock in Thursday night, along with a low of 21, and a high likelihood of snow and a high of 25 Friday.
Weather Service predicts a chance of snow Friday night through Saturday night, turning to sunny skies Sunday, but temperatures dropping in the early weekend.
Weather Service predicts a low Friday night of 8, with a high Saturday of 16 and Saturday night’s low a frigid 2 below zero.
The high Sunday is predicted to be 17 degrees.
The Weather Channel predicts a similar shift, although later and less severe.
That service predicts a low of 29 degrees Wednesday night with a chance of rain, with a high of 36 and a 40 percent chance of rain and snow showers Thursday and a 60 percent chance of snow Thursday night.
The Weather Channel predicts a high of 22 Friday with a low of 7 Friday night, and a 70 percent chance of snow in the day dropping to a 30 percent chance that night.
Saturday’s high is expected to be 15 degrees with a low of 7 degrees that night, Weather Channel reports, and a 30 percent chance of snow is expected in the day dropping to 10 percent that night. Sunday is expected to warm to a high of 31 and a low of 16, with high temperatures predicted to rise into the 40s by Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
AccuWeather.com predicts the low to drop to 28 degrees Wednesday night with a 55 percent chance of precipitation, with a high of 37 Thursday and a low of 21 that night and a chance of snow throughout the day, including a 75 percent chance Thursday night.
AccuWeather predicts a high Friday of 26 and a low of 8 degrees, with a chance of precipitation 35 percent in the day and 55 percent that night.
AccuWeather predicts a high of 18 and a low of 2 Saturday, with a chance of snow showers in the day.
The weather is expected to warm up early next week, with the temperatures dropping back into the 20s and 30s later that week, AccuWeather reports.