Lolo Pass

Snow was falling as of Saturday afternoon, Feb. 2, at Lolo Pass Visitors' Center at the Idaho/Montana border on U.S. Highway 12.

A winter storm is coming in, “probably the strongest one we’ve seen in a while,” according to a National Weather Service (NWS) Missoula office briefing, bringing a potential for freezing rain, snow accumulations, and gusting winds with accompanying frigid wind chills.

NWS forecasts the event to continue into Monday late afternoon, Feb. 4, with snow impacts to Grangeville and the Camas Prairie, and into the Elk City/Dixie region. Two inches is forecast for Grangeville, 11 inches at Dixie and 6 inches at Elk City.

The event began moving into the region Friday evening. For Saturday night and through Sunday, an arctic event will come through the region, starting into northwest Montana, that will see a transition of rain turning into snow, and sustained snow events in the mountain passes, accompanied by gusting winds.

The big piece will be early Sunday morning with moisture coming in from the southwest and the arctic event moving south. Through Sunday, this strong push of cold air will work into North Central Idaho all the way into Grangeville and just to Salmon.

Right along leading edge of this storm, NWS expects some mix of precipitation, probably rain and freezing rain, followed by snow and strong winds. Below freezing wind chills, -25 degrees at Kalispell, for example - are expected through northwestern Montana and into eastern Idaho County.

“This is some of the coldest air that we’ve seen this season,” according to the NWS briefing.

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