Despite the beautiful sunshine bathing western Montana on Friday, there's a change in the weather on the way.

Meteorologist Jeff Kitzmiller said that a strong cold system is headed towards western Montana that may bring snow down to the valley floor by early next week,

We do have a big change coming,” said Kitzmiller. “It starts tomorrow (Saturday) morning with a cold front that will bring cooler air, about 20 degrees cooler than today, and we’ll also have some rain.”

After that, the weather will turn colder.

“Early next week we see a much colder system, and by Tuesday morning we do actually have snow in the forecast for the valleys,” he said. “Any of the valleys in western Montana could see light snow showers. Down in the valleys it probably won’t make much of an impact. Just having snow in the valleys will be the big ‘shock and awe’, but otherwise, the passes will be the areas of most concern. The passes along the continental divide will be the main focus.”

Kitzmiller said hunters and recreationists will be most affected by the snow.

“This is a cold weather system for this time of year,” he said. “Even the valleys will be cold, in that by the time to get to Tuesday, we’ll be struggling to see highs in the 30’s, so in some ways the mountains will be about the same as the valleys.”

Kitzmiller said the cold front will probably last through mid-week, and the cooler weather will likely be here till mid October.

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