Beartooth snow

First light reveals a fresh coat of snow on the Beartooth Mountains in this view from the Billings Rimrocks on Thursday morning.

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Snow visible Thursday morning over the Beartooth Mountains isn't expected to last long in the face of warm weekend temperatures.

The Beartooth Highway reopened to traffic Thursday morning in Montana after a closure Wednesday afternoon at about 3:30 p.m. due to drifting, blowing snow, fog and wet road conditions. On the Montana side, that closure went into effect at Vista Point. 

Forecasts had predicted between 4 and 6 inches of snow. A forecast earlier in the week forecast accumulations Tuesday through Wednesday night of up to 8 inches.

The National Weather Service in Billings doesn't measure snow on the Beartooth Highway, so the agency did not have exact snowfall total.

In Red Lodge about an inch of rain fell Wednesday. A weather station near the Red Lodge Mountain ski area recorded three-quarters of an inch of rain. 

Snow fell over the Beartooth Mountains Wednesday at elevations above 8,000 feet, according to Joe Lester, an NWS Billings meteorologist. 

"The mountains, looking out there they're pretty white today, but that's going to melt in the coming days," Lester said. Lower elevation areas like Billings are expected to see temperatures near the 90s Sunday and Monday.

"Even on the mountaintops it's going to be 50, 60 degrees," Lester said.

This article originally ran on billingsgazette.com.

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