Heavy snowfall is forecast across northern Montana and northern parts of the Upper Midwest through at least December 5th. Total snowfall accumulations of up to 18 cm (7 inches) are forecast to fall in some areas, with higher amounts in mountainous regions, and this is expected to lead to hazardous travel conditions in many parts of the affected area.
As of early Dec. 3, the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued the following warnings, advisories, and watches for the affected area:
- Winter Storm Warning: northern Phillips, Daniels, Sheridan, northern Valley, and Roosevelt counties in northeastern Montana.
- Winter Storm Advisory: central and other northeastern portions of northern Montana.
- Winter Storm Watch: northern parts of the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana, as well as across parts of northern and central North Dakota, northern Minnesota, and far northwestern Wisconsin.
Authorities will likely issue new alerts or update existing advisories as the winter storm transits the region over the coming days.
Snow accumulations are likely across the affected area. Lesser accumulations are possible where sleet and freezing rain mix with the snow and precipitation are less intense. In addition to the heavy snow, strong wind gusts will likely lead to periods of blowing and drifting snow. Blizzard conditions are possible. Sporadic power outages are possible throughout the affected area.
The winter weather will likely cause ground and air transport disruptions over the coming days. Traffic and commercial trucking delays are possible along regional highways. Difficult and potentially dangerous driving conditions are also likely on secondary and rural roadways in the affected states as maintenance crews prioritize clearing major routes. Authorities could close stretches of highways if driving conditions become too hazardous. Gusty winds may threaten to topple high-profile vehicles throughout the affected area. Flight delays and cancellations are likely due to ground stops and deicing operations at regional airports.