Photo Credit: Glacier National Park Service
Discussion: Although astronomical summer has started and meteorological summer is right around the corner, portions of the Northern Rockies are still experiencing snow. This should not come as a surprise as the western United States has seen quite active this spring ranging from snow to thunderstorms.
Notice on the satellite imagery above the large trough swinging through the Northern Rockies. This is the system that brought the lift and energy to the region and has triggered the snowfall. Scattered storms are shown across portions of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic as well on this imagery.
A potent trough dove into the Pacific Northwest late this past week and is now moving through the Northern Rockies (shown above). The cool air and energy from this trough along with a favorable location of the jet stream has produced several inches of snow across the higher elevations of Idaho, northwest Wyoming, and western Montana. South-central Montana is under a winter weather advisory until Sunday morning for this system with around half a foot of snow accumulation possible.
Beyond this system, conditions turn warmer and more convective in nature across portions of the Northern Rockies and Great Basin according to major global models. A bit of moisture and instability in addition to energy aloft will push into the region mid to late week which will trigger showers and thunderstorms. Rain, lightning, and perhaps some gusty winds will be possible hazards with this activity. An image above from Windy.com shows the ECMWF’s early depiction of the thunder activity across this region Thursday afternoon. Stay tuned to your local National Weather Service Office for more details in the coming days.
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©2019 Meteorologist Joe DeLizio