An Alberta Clipper has started tracking for the Upper Midwest, with a burst of snow expected in the western Great Lakes region over the weekend. The feature got it’s start in the middle of the week in, of all places, Alberta. This was key for our forecast site in Billings, which enjoyed the infusion of warm air being drawn north towards the low, and didn’t have to put up with any of the consequences, save for a breezy day on Wednesday. The forecasts were pretty similar, and there was a 4 way tie for third, but Victoria-Weather ended up securing a victory for ourselves.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 39, Low 23
Wednesday – High 50, Low 26

Grade: B-C

Billings, Montana

Let’s forecast again! We haven’t done that for a while, so let’s head for the High Plains and do that!

At 953PM, MT, Billings was reporting mostly cloudy skies and a temperature of 32 degrees. The northern Rockies were at the eastern crest of an extremely eastward tilted ridge. Mid level clouds were present in the turbid flow aloft, but dry weather was seen at the surface throughout Montana.
The ridge will nose in, almost along a west to east axis, cutting a trough over the southwestern US. The northern portion of the trough ridge will become it’s own jet streak, aiding an Alberta Clipper late in the forecast period. While this may make things a bit breezier, Billings will be well south of the feature, and will be in the process of getting warmer thanks to the upper ridge, and flow off the Rockies.
Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High, 40, Low 25
Wednesday – Breezy early, partly cloudy, High 48, Low 30

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunny. Becoming windy late. High 41, Low 24
Wednesday – Sunshine and clouds mixed High 48, Low 32

AW: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny; breezy in the afternoon High 42, Low 25
Wednesday – Strong winds gradually subsiding; periods of clouds and sunshine High 47, Low 31

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny High 44, Low 24
Wednesday – Mostly sunny, High 48, Low 31

WB: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 41, Low 25
Wednesday- Decreasing clouds, windy, High 46, Low 31

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 44, Low 24
Wednesday – Mostly sunny, High 48, Low 31

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day. High 44, Low 27
Wednesday – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 47, Low 31

A look at the national satellite shows the sweeping high clouds over the southern US, which is the jet stream forming the base of a severely tilted trough. It’s keeping Billings out of trouble, though!

Bad news Billings

Sure, we started the year in Florida, but we made sure to follow up our forecasting with the notoriously difficult Billings. Indeed, with a lingering disturbance during the forecast period last Thursday, and another stronger system moving in from the west, there was a lot that could have gone with the forecast, and plenty did. There wasn’t much fresh snow, just a bit on Friday, and a strange combination of strong winds and clouds kept temperatures from dropping off on Saturday morning. I guess the bad news I was talking about in the title belonged to forecasters, who universally had some troubles with the temperatures, especially the lows, and only a couple outlets hit on the correct precipitations forecast. In the end, the Weather Service and WeatherNation snagged the top spots.
Actuals: Friday, trace of snow, High 26, Low 2
Saturday: High 35, Low 26>

Grade: C-D

(Forecast for Billings found here)

Billings, Montana

I’m really doing it! here is a look at the weather in Billings. It’s usually a challenging endeavor, forecasting in Billings, but will the weather be even more uncooperative than usual?

At 1153AM, MT, Billings was reporting cloudy skies with a temperature of 19 degrees. High pressure had filtered into the high Plains and was smushing a bunch of clouds and moisture into the Front Range. There were a few flurries southeast of town headed towards Wyoming, but a weak lee perturbation would ensure the chance for some light snow through the early morning hours tomorrow. There is a winter weather advisory for the region.
A vast area of low pressure, as opposed the the wave n the region right now, will shift from the Pacific Northwest, where it will do considerable damage as a snowmaker, however it will not make as much hay on the other side of the Rockies. Models indicate that Billings will be in a rain — or snow — shadow through most of the day on Saturday, even as low pressure rematerializes as the upper trough makes it’s way through the Rockies. The low will redevelop over Wyoming and colorado, however, which means Billings will be getting colder, whether or not it gets any snow.
Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with an early flurry, High 25, low 8
Saturday – Increasing clouds, warmer with a chance for an early flake, High 40, Low 18

TWC: Tomorrow – A few passing clouds, otherwise generally sunny. (Early snow High 33, Low 13
Saturday – A few passing clouds, otherwise generally sunny. High 40, Low 22

AW: Tomorrow – A couple of snow showers in the morning; otherwise, cold with partial sunshine High 31, low 9
Saturday – Mainly cloudy with snow showers, accumulating a coating to an inch High 28, Low 22

NWS: Tomorrow – A 20 percent chance of snow before 8am. Mostly sunny High 26, Low 6
Saturday – A 20 percent chance of snow before 11am. Mostly cloudy High 36, Low 20

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 29, Low 11
Saturday – Mostly cloudy, high 37, Low 22

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with a slight chance of snow, High 26, Low 6
Saturday – Mostly cloudy with a slight chance of light snow, High 36, Low 20

FIO: Tomorrow – Clear throughout the day High 32, low 11
Saturday – Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High 39, low 22

Take a look at local affiliate KTVQ’s forecast for the city. I’m surprised how similar the national affiliates were. What do the locals say?