Any remaining hope for a gradual, easy transition from summer to winter is fading fast.
Another wintery weather system – the third this fall, for those keeping track – is at moving south out of British Columbia into northwestern and west-central Montana.
Missoula National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Kitsmiller is calling for scattered showers and blustery winds.
"Everything gets a little more cold and windy as that passes. For most places [the winds] pretty much be in the 20 to 35 mph range, but up near Kalispell and over to Marias Pass they’ll have some higher winds."
Some of those gusts in the higher elevations could hit 50 mph Friday night.
"And then there’s, right behind that, a really cold cold front that comes from the east."
For reference, Friday’s daytime highs across the state generally climbed into the upper 50s and low 60s.
"We’ll have our highs in the 40s Saturday, then it looks like highs for most places in the 30s for Sunday. And that holds pretty steady for this upcoming week where we have a lot of highs in the 30s, lows that get down into the teens or single digits."
Yellowstone County could have particularly chilly temps with those single digit overnight lows and daytime highs struggling to rise above the 20s and 30s.
Homestake, MacDonald and Marias passes could get scattered snow showers Saturday morning; then it dries out for a day or two before more light scattered showers roll through.
Temperatures from Wednesday through next weekend should rise a bit from the early week’s extreme cold, but will probably remain well below the seasonal average.
The National Weather Service says that sets us up for the possibility of more snow by month’s end.