An arctic storm is expected to hit Missoula on Tuesday and may lead to some dangerous travel conditions until early Wednesday morning. Meteorologist Bob Nester said the cold weather will come down out of Alberta hitting the Kalispell region tomorrow morning before it hits Missoula.

"Down here in Missoula, that front flowing moves to the south and by mid- to late-afternoon, we'll start seeing the affects of this arctic front with snow occurring in three to six hour periods," Nester said. "Then the system will move to southwest Montana in the early evening hours."

During that time, gusty winds up to 30 mph are expected out of Hellgate Canyon and wind chills could get down to around 10 degrees below zero. Those winds could also make it hard for drivers to see.

"The biggest impact is going to be snow blowing snow, reducing visibility for those traveling," Nester said. "If it starts to snow by the mid-to-late afternoon hours, it's going to be warm enough to wear the snow could melt and become kind of slushy. Once that arctic hits, it's going to quickly freeze on the roads and create a lot of traffic hazards."

The storm should pass by Wednesday though, and Thanksgiving holiday drivers can expect pretty clear driving from Wednesday afternoon through the weekend.

Below are notable passes that will be seeing much of the wind and snow that may impact holiday drivers:

  • Lost Trail Pass: Starting 7-10 p.m. Winds 20-30 mph. Storm total 4-7 inches of snow by Wednesday morning.
  • Lookout Pass: Starting 2-5 p.m. Winds 20-25 mph. Storm total 3-6 inches of snow by Wednesday morning.
  • Lolo Pass: Starting 4-7 p.m. Winds 20-25 mph. Storm total 3-6 inches of snow by Wednesday morning.

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