Area Forecast Discussion

FXUS65 KBYZ 151632
Area Forecast Discussion...Updated
National Weather Service Billings MT 
932 AM MST Fri Dec 15 2017
Strong to gusty winds were ongoing from Livingston, east along 
the Beartooth Foothills, and north from Big Timber through 
Harlowton. Strong to gusty southwest to west winds will continue 
through the morning, before gradually tapering off during the 
afternoon and evening as the next system approaches. Warm 
conditions will continue today with highs for many places in the 
upper 40s to lower 50s. Have adjusted winds and sky cover to 
current trends. Otherwise, the rest of the forecast remains on 
track and the previous forecast discussion and an updated aviation
discussion are below. STP
.SHORT TERM...valid for Tdy and Sat...
Unsettled weather pattern will be in store through Saturday. For 
today, lee-side troughing will be setting up this morning with low
pressure moving across southern Canada and high pressure across 
southeast Idaho. This will result in tight pressure gradients 
across the Upper Yellowstone and Stillwater valleys today. As a 
result, we are expecting advisory wind gusts for the Livingston 
area and adjacent Beartooth Foothills. However, the gradient 
orientation is more east west and favors the Big Timber area so we
will need to monitor for a possible advisory for that area if 
winds approach advisory levels. A cold front will move across the 
forecast area early this evening which will end the strong wind 
gusts for the foothills. 
An inverted trough develops late tonight into Saturday. In 
addition, surface winds will become north then northeast behind 
the front providing an upslope component for areas west of 
Billings. Models show some fairly steep lapse rates along with a 
good area of QG forcing moving across the area late tonight into 
Saturday. This will all result in the likelihood for snow with 
accumulations likely mainly along and west of a Roundup-Billings- 
Sheridan line. There still remains some uncertainty where the 
heavier snow will set up so we will hold off on any highlights 
right now. However, the Beartooth/Absaroka foothills may get 
snowfall in the 4-6 inch range with a couple inches further east 
across the adjoining plains. The snow looks to taper off from 
north to south late Saturday afternoon into Saturday evening. 
Highs today will warm into the upper 40s to lower 50s with only 
30s for Saturday, but 30s are normal for this time of year. Hooley
.LONG TERM...valid for Sun...Mon...Tue...Wed...Thu...
Brief period of ridging on Sunday gives way to unsettled northwest
flow on Monday with most of the energy of this transition
remaining north of the region. Flow backs on Tuesday as a
weakening shortwave ridge moves through Montana with a more
significant system heading towards the area for Wednesday but this
system is filling as it approaches. Looks cooler behind this
Wednesday system but closer to seasonal normals with highs in the
mid 30s. Beyond this period towards the weekend before Christmas
model solutions are trending warmer with the ECMWF indicating the
upstream high amplitude ridge does not get established which
prevents very cold air from heading towards the region. GFS is
trending not as cold but has not bought into the EC solution
yet...but it has a less amplified ridge upstream. 
Forecast problems on Sunday and Monday are winds as a positively
tilted ridge moves across western Montana with a front moving
through Monday morning. Windiest period should be Monday morning
just in advance of the front with winds tapering off Monday
evening. Precipitation looks pretty limited as this system moves
quickly through though upslope foothills and mountains could see a
minor amount of snow. 
Breezy again on Wednesday ahead of the next system with a shot of
precipitation but with system filling again looks like an inch or
two at most for most areas. borsum 
Windy conditions will continue through this afternoon along the 
foothills into the adjacent plains. Favored areas along the 
foothills could see wind gusts to 50kt this morning into early 
afternoon. Other areas will see wind gusts to 25kt. VFR and dry 
conditions can be expected across the region today with mountain 
precipitation moving in this evening. The area will experience 
increasing clouds and shower activity late evening. Conditions 
will begin to transition from VFR to MVFR late tonight as snow 
moves in. TWH
    Tdy Sat     Sun     Mon     Tue     Wed     Thu     
BIL 053 030/035 018/036 027/043 026/043 030/040 014/026
    0/N 67/S    20/U    22/W    22/W    24/W    32/J
LVM 048 027/031 014/034 027/040 030/044 034/039 014/025
    0/N 88/S    21/N    33/W    33/W    35/W    42/J
HDN 052 030/037 017/039 024/044 023/044 026/043 013/027
    0/B 67/O    10/U    23/W    22/W    25/W    42/J
MLS 051 028/037 017/038 026/041 022/040 025/039 010/023
    0/B 44/S    10/U    22/W    11/B    24/W    31/B
4BQ 052 029/037 018/038 025/044 023/042 026/044 012/024
    0/B 36/O    20/U    22/W    21/B    23/W    42/J
BHK 049 026/036 015/036 024/040 020/038 022/037 008/019
    0/B 33/S    10/U    22/W    11/B    24/J    42/J
SHR 054 027/034 015/037 021/044 021/043 025/043 012/025
    0/B 68/S    40/U    22/W    21/B    14/W    52/J
MT...Wind Advisory in effect until 6 PM MST this evening FOR ZONES