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Weekend snowstorm to impact interstates in northern Rockies (with forecast video)

Main impact areas will be in Montana

(Photo: Montana DOT)

Another round of high winds and snowfall will slam the northern Rockies this weekend. Early-season storms have already hit the region this week.

Severe winds caused a tractor-trailer to roll over Monday afternoon along Interstate 15 near Conrad, Montana. A section of the highway was closed for several hours.

Periods of snowfall have also hit Montana over the past two days, especially in the higher elevations.

The next storm could produce accumulating snowfall in lower elevations as well. A cold front will move through Montana Friday evening into Saturday, producing up to 6 inches of snowfall below 5,000 feet and totals in excess of 6 inches above 5,000 feet. This includes portions of I-15 and I-90.

Areas in the impact zone include Logan Pass, Cut Bank, Great Falls, Lewistown, Flesher Pass, Rogers Pass, Homestake Pass, West Yellowstone, Bozeman Pass and Targhee Pass.

Precipitation may start as rainfall, followed by flash freezing as temperatures fall below 32 degrees Friday night. This could lead to ice on some roads.

High winds will lead to blowing snow, reduced visibility and an elevated risk of rollovers. Gusts could reach 50 to 60 mph, with sustained winds of 30 to 40 mph.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch and high wind watch for the region.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Nick Austin.

Nick Austin

Nick is a meteorologist with 20 years of forecasting and broadcasting experience. He was nominated for a Midsouth Emmy for his coverage during a 2008 western Tennessee tornado outbreak. He received his Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Florida State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Management from the Georgia Tech. Nick is a member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association. As a member of the weather team at WBBJ-TV in Jackson, Tennessee, Nick was nominated for a Mid-South Emmy for live coverage of a major tornado outbreak in February 2008. As part of the weather team at WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Nick shared the Chattanooga Times-Free Press Best of the Best award for “Best Weather Team” eight consecutive years.