Severe Weather Expected for Northwest Montana This Afternoon, Weekend

By Beacon Staff

Scattered showers and thunderstorms accompanied by strong winds and possible hail are expected for portions of Northwest Montana today and tonight. The strongest storms are concentrated in north central Idaho, with a few traveling over to the Troy and Libby areas.

The severe weather is the result of a jet stream traveling east from California that will carry heavy rain, gusty winds and cooler temperatures across the state this weekend, said Peter Felsch with the National Weather Service in Missoula.

The bulk of the threat today, Felsch said, is on the Idaho/Montana border. More rain and hail are expected Thursday, versus strong gusty winds, with thunderstorm activity widespread across the state. Thursday into Saturday, Glacier National Park could see 2 to 3 inches of rain or more.

Previous events of this magnitude for this time of year along the Continental Divide have seen up to 7 inches of rain, Felsch said. As precipitation develops, it will be important to monitor steep terrain and burn areas for debris flows and rock slides, he added, especially in Glacier along Going-to-the-Sun-Road.