(MISSOULA)- While driving conditions along the Divide passes and in Eastern Montana continue to be a challenge this morning, roads are starting to improve as skies clear in the western half of the Treasure State.
After a major winter storm blew through Western Montana Monday, drivers were confronted with slick conditions and varied amounts of snowfall across the region. Most of the major snow hit Northwest Montana, where emergency crews were kept busy with a series of accidents Monday afternoon and evening.
However, as of Tuesday morning, conditions were beginning to improve on the far western passes along the border. Lookout, Lost Trail and Lolo Pass were all under clearing skies by late morning, although roads remained snow covered with icy spots. I-90 had snow east to St. Regis, with areas of scattered snow and ice east to Butte. Conditions worsen over Homestake and Bozeman passes, with areas of blowing and drifting snow.
In the southwest, drivers over Monida Pass were encountering blowing and drifting snow, with reduced visibility north to Dillon. Blowing and drifting snow remains a problem on I-15 from Helena north to Great Falls and the border.
Some snow was still falling in Northwest Montana late this morning, especially along the Continental Divide. Montana Department of Transportation reported areas of blowing and drifting snow on Marias Pass and from East Glacier out to Browning. Other highways in the Flathead and Mission valleys have scattered snow and ice.
The Upper Blackfoot Valley was also seeing continued snow showers, with blowing and drifting snow on MT-200 over Rogers Pass and east of the Divide. The highway had some scattered snow and ice west through the Lower Clark Fork Valley.
In the Missoula and Bitterroot valleys the sun and deicer was helping to melt off the snow on the main streets and highways, but side roads and streets are expected to remain covered with scattered snow and ice for the next several days.