Weather WIld

Clouds roll over the Bridger Mountains on Tuesday afternoon off of Springhill Road.

Several different storms are expected to move through the state starting Wednesday, making holiday travel difficult, according to the National Weather Service.

“Pretty much everywhere is going to be experiencing winter weather as we go through the rest of the week and into the weekend,” said Paul Nutter, a meteorologist for NWS.

The weather service issued a winter weather advisory until 11 p.m. Thursday for Madison and Gallatin counties near the Montana-Idaho border. A second warning for the northern parts of the two counties takes effect on Thursday from 2 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The weather service expects up to 8 inches of snow near the Montana-Idaho border in Madison and Gallatin counties. Bozeman and other areas could see up to 3 inches of snow.

Nutter said a winter storm would start north and west of Great Falls Wednesday afternoon and travel down toward Gallatin County. Another storm is expected to kick up from there and move to the southeast part of the state in the following days.

“It’s a very active winter weather pattern right now,” he said.

Nutter advised anyone traveling away from Bozeman to check forecasts for where they’re going. He advised drivers to be prepared by planning for delays, packing a safety kit and to let people know where you’re going.

“Typical winter travel,” Nutter said.

Montana Highway Patrol Sgt. Adam Kloster said troopers get busy when it starts snowing. He said the agency typically sees a lot of slide-off crashes that send cars into ditches and onto medians.

Kloster said driving in snowy conditions comes down to common sense. If roads are icy, he said, slow down and leave more space between you and the car in front of you.

When wrecks happen, Kloster said, slow down and move over for law enforcement responding to the incidents.

“They just need to be aware of their surroundings,” he said. “And if they see flashing lights, slow down and be aware that there might be an event in front of them.”

Brian Sprenger, Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport director, said he wasn’t expecting many impacts for travelers in Bozeman. Connecting flights in other states like Denver, Colorado, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, however, could affect travel plans.

“The weather that happens throughout the country impacts us just like the roads,” Sprenger said.

On Tuesday, he said, one of five flights from Bozeman to Denver was “impacted.”

Sprenger said he is expecting to surpass last year’s record of people traveling through the airport for the holiday. It’s a busy week for November, he said, but “this isn’t the time to panic.”

“The flood gates open when we get into the ski and summer season, and the middle of December,” Sprenger said.

Fore information on road conditions, drivers can call 511. Travelers could also check the Montana Department of Transportation’s website for driving conditions.

Freddy Monares can be reached at fmonares@dailychronicle.com or at 406-582-2630.

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