Nighttime Microphysics RGB with developing light snow.


A fast moving shortwave trough is forecast to bring snow through central Montana this morning. The radar has been active (Fig. 1), but snow is not yet being reported at area stations except at Havre, where its only just began. It’s night, and only a few web cams are illuminated. The nightime microphysics RGB (Nt-micro) adds some value to the situation (Fig. 2). At 0448 UTC the Nt-micro image shows widespread red-orange-purple colors across the state. These are best interpreted as optically thick mid to high level clouds. Ceilings above 6000 feet AGL are consistent with this interpretation. The radar has been active in these areas for much of the night in clear-air mode, so likely picking up on ice crystals within the cloud.  Four hours later, the scene has changed (Fig. 3).  Notice the introduction of bright yellow clouds in southern Alberta, just sneaking into northern Glacier County. These…

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