Winter storm heading to northwest Montana

Slick roadThe National Weather Service, Missoula, has added a winter storm watch on top of a winter weather advisory issued Friday for the Kootenai/Cabinet and Lower Clark Fork Regions. The advisory for one to three inches of valley snow and up to six inches over Lookout Pass is in effect from 5 p.m. today through 11 a.m. Sunday. The storm watch takes effect Monday afternoon and runs through Wednesday morning.

The winter storm watch calls for additional heavy snow, with up to a foot possible in the valleys and two to three feet possible on Lookout Pass and higher elevations.

In addition to heavy snow, meteorologists predict high winds, with gusts to 50 miles possible, making for dangerous driving conditions, especially at higher elevations, with blowing and drifting snow severely limiting visibility. In addition to hazardous driving conditions, the combination of snow and wind is likely to down limbs, trees and power lines, potentially blocking roads, causing property damage and power outages.

Highways likely to be affected include I-90 from Lookout Pass to Haugan, Highway 56 Bull Lake Road, Highway 37 Eureka to Libby, Highway 2 Kalispell to Libby, Evaro Hill, Highway 200 Thompson Falls to Plains, Highway 93 Eureka to Whitefish, and Highway 200 from Trout Creek to Heron.