Winter weather

The National Weather Service is predicting more snow for western Montana this week.

BOB MESEROLL, Missoulian

If you liked the weather in the week leading up to Christmas, you'll love what Mother Nature has in store as 2018 approaches.

A weather pattern known as the "Pineapple Express" promises to bring even more snow to the area beginning Wednesday, although temperatures will be more moderate than the area saw over the weekend. The fetch of moisture is dubbed the Pineapple Express because it originates in the area of Hawaii.

"The first weather system will begin to move into the region late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning and will bring widespread light to moderate snow to the mountains and valleys," information from the NWS website said. "For western Montana, anywhere from 1 to 4 inches are expected."

But that's just a preview. Another round of light to moderate snow is predicted for Thursday, but the main event appears to be coming Friday.

"The Atmospheric River is expected to peak in intensity on Friday and will bring periods of heavy snow to the mountains along the Montana/Idaho borders," the NWS said. "Snow rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour should be expected at mountain passes such as Lookout, Lolo, Lost Trail and possibly Marias pass early Friday morning through Friday afternoon.

"For valleys, there is still some uncertainty on the snow amounts but periods of moderate to heavy snow should be expected across western Montana on Friday. Depending on where the moisture sets up, there is potential for Northwest Montana to see another heavy snow event."

Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-20s for highs, possibly even reaching the low 30s by the weekend.

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