A wild temperature swing predicted for this weekend has the potential to bring freezing cold and a shot of late-spring snow to the region.
The National Weather Service in Missoula on Tuesday warned that a 20-degree temperature drop is possible Friday through early next week, with the thermometer dipping to levels well below normal for June.
A threat of frost is possible each morning through Monday, with low temperatures approaching the freezing mark in some locations across Western Montana.
The Flathead Valley is likely to stay a bit warmer than locations east of the Divide. Low temperatures in Kalispell and Columbia Falls for the weekend will be in the low 40s, with highs in the low 50s.
However, locations near Glacier National Park, such as Polebridge and Marias Pass, should bottom out near freezing.
Light snow is likely in higher elevations on Friday and Saturday as well, with snow levels dropping to around 5,000 feet.
“And it is possible that heavier precipitation could lower snow levels even more,” the Weather Service warned.
It’s still too early to predict the exact location of the most intense snow, the Weather Service noted, but all mountain ranges will likely see new accumulations.
Slushy roads are possible over mountain passes, and backcountry travelers should be prepared for “wet and raw” conditions, the Weather Service warned.
Drier conditions and a warming trend begins on Monday.