The National Weather Service is predicting two cold, windy, snow-producing systems to move through the region starting Monday night through Thursday.

Meteorologist Ryan Leach said on Monday afternoon that there are two weather systems headed towards west central Montana.

"The first is tonight, and that will strike a glancing blow and most of that will stay east of the Continental Divide," Leach said. "We'll get some cold air leaking through the mountain passes into the valleys, especially in the Flathead and Mission valleys. We'll get some light snow and rain showers along with that system."

Leach said the second system is the one forecasters are more concerned about.

"The second system will come right into western Montana, bringing quite a bit of snow up along the Continental Divide," he said. "Along with that there'll be much stronger easterly winds coming through the passes, so the Bad Rock and Hellgate Canyons will experience strong cold winds."

Leach warns gardeners that a hard freeze will accompany this system.

"We're looking at the potential for some pretty hard freezes especially on Thursday morning," he said. "So, those folks in the valleys who have gardens that will definitely have an impact. We've also issued a winter weather advisory for the Glacier National Park area, with one to three inches of snow by Wednesday night and from five to seven inches above 7,000 feet. The passes most affected by this system will be McDonald, Mariah and Homestake for the first big snow event to affect the passes for the year."

The system will move out of the region late Thursday into Thursday night allowing for skies to clear.  The presence of a cold air mass and clear skies should cause minimum temperatures to drop into the 20s and low 30s across much of western Montana by Friday morning.

Meteorologist Ryan Leach