- Associated Press - Monday, November 23, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A storm packing snow and strong winds is expected to create hazardous travel conditions in parts of Montana and Wyoming in the days before Thanksgiving.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning from 11 a.m. Tuesday through 11 p.m. Wednesday for western Montana and into the central part of the state.

“This one’s lining up so that it’s going to be pretty nasty for people driving Tuesday and Wednesday to get to destinations for Thanksgiving,” meteorologist Jonathan Suk of Great Falls said Monday.

Moisture from the west will collide with cold, Canadian air to drop 3 to 6 inches of snow at most lower elevations, with up to a foot in the mountains, Suk said. Gusty winds will reduce visibility to less than a mile and combine with single-digit nighttime temperatures to create hazardous wind chill temperatures.

Moderate to heavy snow is expected in Wyoming, as well, according to the weather service. The peak of the storm is expected to hit central Wyoming between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, when 50 mph wind gusts along portions of Interstate 80 could cause white-out conditions.

“Everywhere (in the state) is going to get snow,” said NWS meteorologist Chris Jones of Riverton, Wyoming. “People should stay home and enjoy Thanksgiving from the confines of their warm homes. The I-80 corridor should see around 3 to 6 inches of snow, but wind could make it treacherous, if not impossible.”

The weather service is recommending emergency travel only in the areas of both states most affected by the storm.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation echoed the warning.

“We don’t get a forecast like this very often in Wyoming so if you don’t have to go, don’t,” agency spokesman Cody Beers told the Cody Enterprise. “You could get stuck where you don’t want to spend Thanksgiving.”

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