Montana counties across the entire state are getting hammered with snow, wind and bitterly cold temperatures. Missoula, Bozeman, Helena, Great Falls, Billings and everywhere in between has it's own issues, with up to 15 inches of fresh snow falling by Thursday evening in the mountains.

By 11am on Wednesday morning, there were over 230 crashes or slide-offs across the state of Montana, as reported by the Montana Highway Patrol. (You can check that map anytime, here.) Snow, wind, and foggy conditions had already taken hold with much more poor weather to come.

MHP Crash Map - Oct 25
MHP Crash Map - Oct 25

Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories have been issued for just about every county in Montana. Here's a sampling of what's been issued so far for portions of central, north central, and southwest Montana:

  • WHAT...Heavy snow. Additional snow accumulations between 4 and 7 inches on the plains and in the valleys, but 8 to 15 additional inches possible in the mountains.
  • Winds gusting as high as 40 mph at times, mainly through tonight.
  • WHERE...Portions of central, north central, and southwest Montana.
  • WHEN...Until 6 PM Thursday.
  • IMPACTS...Travel could be very difficult to impossible and tire chains may be required for some vehicles.
  • Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility.
  • Those in the backcountry should ensure they are prepared for dangerous conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning and evening commutes
  • ADDITIONAL DETAILS...A break in the snow is expected starting later this afternoon, but another wave of snow overspreads the area tonight and through the day on Thursday.
  • PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
  • The latest road conditions can be obtained by calling 5 1 1
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Driving conditions are quite poor in many parts of Montana and will continue to get worse, as more snow falls and temperatures drop further. It's going to be several days of very cold weather with slick roads - not the time to be stuck on the side of the road.

If you don't need to travel, stay off the roads during this storm. Winter sure has appeared with a bang! No 'easing into it' this year. The Montana Highway Patrol and other first responders are already very busy. Don't get caught unprepared. Be safe out there.

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