(National Weather Service Missoula)

Here we are into the second half of June in the midst of our first heat wave, while winter storm warnings are in effect a mere two thousand miles away in parts of the Rockies.

Along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountain front in Montana (elevations above 6,500 feet), one to two feet of snow is forecast through Wednesday morning. The  National Weather Service (NWS) says winds may gust over 30 mph dropping the visibility to a quarter mile or less in heavy snow.

In the West Glacier portion of Montana, 2 to 5 inches of snow is forecast from a “vigorous area of precipitation” as low as 5,000-5,500 feet in elevation tonight.  “Periods of snow could be particularly heavy with fat wet flakes and cause significant reductions in visibility,” NWS cautions.

Winter weather advisories have also been hoisted in Idaho and Wyoming and as far south as Colorado and Utah, for elevations above 8,000-8,500 feet.

The cold, wintry weather in the West has arisen from a see-saw pattern in the atmosphere’s flow over the U.S., sending unseasonably cold air from Canada southward into the Rockies, while – on the flip side – pumping hot air over the Eastern U.S.

The atmosphere’s flow features pools of cold and hot air over the Rockies and eastern U.S., respectively. Analysis from GFS model. (WeatherBell.com)

Here are some more pictures of snow!