A strong storm is pushing into the Pacific NW and Northern Rockies. The storm will have a major impact on those traveling later today and into Thursday morning. Mountain passes along the Montana and Idaho state line will see the heaviest snowfall. The storm will be heaviest around midnight in the farther reaches of SW Montana and into early Wednesday morning.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch. As the storm approaches the watch will be upgraded to a winter weather advisory or a winter storm warning.
As of now the National Weather Service is estimating a total snowfall of 5"-12" above 7,000' and 2"-6" for the lower valleys. With possible wind gusts up to 40 mph.
SW Montana areas with the greatest concern are Big Hole Pass, Chief Joseph Pass, Lost Trail Pass, Monida Pass, Raynolds Pass, Targhee Pass, and Big Sky to West Yellowstone. Allthough these are the areas of high concern most mountain passes could see snow and wind causing difficult travel on New Years Day.