Snow for Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota

Watch/Warning map valid 10:15 EDT on October 3rd. The purple color indicates winter weather advisories. The sliver of light pink in Montana is a Winter Storm Warning. The darker blue shading in Minnesota and extreme eastern ND represents Winter Storm Watches.

Snow is currently falling in western Montana with the highest amounts accumulating at the highest elevations and mainly on grassy surfaces.  The Winter Storm Warning in northwestern MT is for accumulation of 6-10 inches of snow in some of the highest elevations and passes in this part of the state.

The Winter Weather Advisories in western North Dakota are for 1-3 inches of snow accumulating tonight into tomorrow morning as the system moves eastward and the rain currently falling in ND changes over to snow with the incoming cold air.

The more significant snow is forecast for eastern ND and northern MN (as well as Canada) where the Winter Storm Watches are discussing six or more inches of accumulation.  Model solutions suggest snowfall totals will exceed a foot in some parts of the US with parts of Canada receiving 18 or more inches.  I’m not sure how well the models can handle snowfall ratios and, as a result, they may be over-doing the total accumulations.  This should be a heavy, wet snow that won’t pile up as quickly as a mid-Winter event.  That said, the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center is suggesting a high probability (greater than 70% chance) of at least 8 inches of snow in extreme northern MN with a moderate probability (greater than 40% chance) of at least 12 inches of snow.  So, this does appear to be a significant event.  It should begin either late tonight or tomorrow morning and continue throughout much of the day tomorrow.

I expect we’ll see many more pictures like this one, courtesy of The Billing (MT) Gazette, over the next couple days:

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