Ugh. We've been plagued by gusty winds all week. It appears that a High Wind Watch will continue for several southwest Montana counties through Saturday night with gusts up to 60 mph.

Cities included in this particular High Wind Watch are Bozeman, Belgrade, Three Forks, Manhattan, Townsend, Boulder, White Sulphur Springs, Ennis, Virginia City and Dillon.

A HIGH WIND WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING FOR SEVERAL SOUTHWEST MONTANA COUNTIES.

  • WHAT: West winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph possible.
  • WHERE: Meagher, Beaverhead, Broadwater, Gallatin, Jefferson and Madison Counties.
  • WHEN: Mainly from Saturday morning through Saturday evening, although Friday may see some lesser gusts.
  • IMPACTS: High winds may move loose debris, damage property and cause local power outages.
  • Road travel could be difficult at times, especially for taller vehicles. Keep a close eye on semi trucks as they may swerve drastically in these conditions with no warning.
  • If there is any amount of rain or snow, visibility can drop very quickly. Make sure that you have plenty of washer fluid and that your wiper blades are in good shape.
  • Always use your headlights in hazardous driving conditions. The more visible you are, the safer you are.
  • Fasten loose objects in your yard, driveway and porch or shelter objects in a safe location before these winds start. Garbage cans can easily blow away in the predicted gusty winds.

Wind storms also pose a threat of power outages. You can check the status of Northwestern Energy's Outage Map HERE. Most of all, use common sense and be safe out there!

For clarity, here is how the National Weather Service defines and separates Wind Alerts of varying degrees:

High Wind Warning: Take Action! Sustained, strong winds with even stronger gusts are happening. Seek shelter. If you are driving, keep both hands on the wheels and slow down. NWS offices issue this product based on local criteria.

High Wind Watch: Be Prepared! Sustained, strong winds are possible. Secure loose outdoor items and adjust plans as necessary so you're not caught outside. NWS offices issue this product based on local criteria.

Wind Advisory: Take Action! Strong winds are occurring but are not so strong as to warrant a High Wind Warning. Objects that are outdoors should be secured and caution should be taken if driving. NWS offices issue this product based on local criteria.

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