The National Weather Service is predicting a winter storm for the weekend into next week.

Meteorologist Trent Smith said the system will start with a rain-snow mix on Saturday, which will turn to snow by Sunday.

“This arctic air will push all the way through western Montana down here into Missoula by Sunday morning and that interaction with the arctic air and that nice warm air is potentially going to create significant amounts of snow,” said Smith. “Right now, here in the Missoula valley we’re predicting anywhere from two to four inches. However, if that front stalls over Missoula, we could be getting a lot more snow.”

Smith said the snow event will be followed by our own modified polar vortex, with very cold temperatures.

“That cold air is really going to settle over the region,” he said. “Not nearly as cold as whet they’re experiencing in the Midwest, but relatively cold for us. We’re looking for minimums that could get down to zero, just like what we saw several nights ago. It’s going to get a little snowier and definitely colder by next work week.

Smith said the cold snap has the potential to last most of next week.

Attached, find a link to the briefing produced Friday morning by the National Weather Service staff.