Highway driving will not be fun in Montana on Friday in places like Butte, Anaconda, Deer Lodge, Polson, Kalispell, Whitefish, Browning, Heart Butte, Shelby, Choteau and much of northeast Montana. Winds of 40 to 50 MPH will not be uncommon.

The good news? The wind advisory is only for Friday afternoon/evening. If you have traveling that must be done this weekend, Saturday or Sunday might be a better choice and you shouldn't encounter such harsh winds on the open roads.

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  • Butte/Anaconda/Deer Lodge areas - According to the National Weather Service:
  • WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON TO 8 PM FRIDAY
  • WHAT...West winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 45 mph expected.
  • Gusts over 50 mph possible at MacDonald Pass.
  • WHERE...Butte, Georgetown Lake, Highway 12 Garrison to Elliston, Homestake Pass, and MacDonald Pass.
  • WHEN...From noon to 8 PM Friday.
  • Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. A few trees could blown down due to wet soil and minor power outages may result.
  • Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects.

It's a no-brainer to keep yourself and others on the road safe. Drive slower than normal when encountering gusty winds, give cars plenty of space, pass with extra caution, and ALWAYS use your headlights.

  • Shelby, Browning, Choteau areas - According to the National Weather Service:
  • HIGH WIND WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TO 9 PM FRIDAY
  • WHAT...West winds 30 to 40 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph, are expected.
  • WHERE...The Rocky Mountain Front, including all of Glacier County, and Toole.
  • WHEN...From Noon to 9 PM Friday.
  • High winds may move loose debris, and cause isolated power outages.
  • Travel could be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.
  • Blowing dust could reduce visibility at times, especially on Interstate 15 between Sweet Grass and Shelby.
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Most large Montana lakes are under an advisory too, with very choppy waters expected on Friday afternoon. Extreme caution should be used if you'll be recreating on larger lakes.

  • Ronan/Polson/Kalispell/Flathead Lake/Columbia Falls/Whitefish areas - According to the National Weather Service:
  • WIND ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM TO 8 PM FRIDAY
  • WHAT...Southwest winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 35 mph expected.
  • Wind gusts over 40 mph are possible
  • Waves 1 to 2 feet, locally up to 3 feet on Flathead Lake.
  • WHERE...Flathead Lake, Flathead Valley, Mission Valley, and Polson.
  • WHEN...From 8 AM to 8 PM Friday.
  • Strong winds and rough waves will create hazardous conditions for small craft on area lakes.
  • Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. A few trees could blown down due to wet soil and minor power outages may result.

A warning means weather conditions pose a threat to life or property. People in the path of the storm need to take protective action.

Advisories are for less serious conditions than warnings, that cause significant inconvenience and if caution is not exercised, could lead to situations that may threaten life or property.

A watch means that hazardous weather is possible. People should have a plan of action in case a storm threatens and they should listen for later information and possible warnings especially when planning travel or outdoor activities.

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