Typically, we see a significant amount of snow on the ground this time of year, but that isn’t the case right now. National Weather Service Meteorologist Ryan Leach explains.

“Overall, this really isn’t that abnormal of an event for an El Nino kind of winter,” Leach said. “If you look in the mountains and see how much precipitation they have measured, they have measured pretty near normal for rain and snow amounts put together, but if you just look at how much snow there is on the ground, because it has been a bit warmer with these systems, it has been becoming more in the form of rain than it has snow.”

According to Leach, a pretty big cold front is approaching Missoula and it could be here at the end of the week.

“We do still have a good chance for a white Christmas here in Missoula,” Leach said. “In fact, it might even happen on Christmas day. It is still too hard to call it in terms of when it is going to snow and when it is not, but it looks like we are going to have something come through and that it is going to be cold. In the meantime, between now and then, it is going to stay with this warm and wet pattern, especially in the mountains.”

It has been very warm and wet lately, but Leach is hopeful that colder weather is on the horizon.