Missoula and all of western Montana endured a long night of high winds, downed trees and power outages, said meteorologist Travis Booth with the National Weather Service office in Missoula early Tuesday morning.

“Here at the Missoula airport our peak gust was 68 miles per hour, and that was right around 11:00 p.m..” said Booth. “Looking at the top of the mountain on Point Six, they gusted to 75 miles per hour. The highest wind gust we’ve ever recorded here at the Missoula airport was 79 miles per hour, which occurred during a thunderstorm. I don’t have the exact date.”

Booth provided some anecdotal reports of damage from Monday evening’s high winds.

“We had a couple of reports,” he said. “There was a media report of a roof in Upper Miller Creek where a section got blown off. There was also a report of a downed tree at the intersection of Brooks and Mount, but beyond that it was just a scattering of power outages, caused most likely by downed trees interfering with the power lines.”

Booth said the strong winds will continue throughout the day on Tuesday.

“The strongest winds have already occurred, but it’s going to continue to be quite windy today,” he said. “We’re still expecting gusts anywhere from 25 to even a few gusts over 40 miles per hour throughout the day, but compared to those gusts overnight it may just seem breezy at this point.”

Booth said the winds are bringing with them the chance of heavy snow bands across western Montana.

“At the moment we do have a few snow showers across the area,” he said, “More interesting though, will be later this afternoon and into the early evening hours, right around that commute time, it does look like a good pattern for snow bands. The thing to watch out for would be that dramatic drop in visibility and heavy snowfall and some gusty winds associated with that. It could be a little hazardous for the evening commute, especially.”

The highs today will be in the mid to upper 30’s.

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