A RED FLAG WARNING is in effect for all of Montana until 12am Thursday. Gusty to strong winds, low relative humidity, and very hot temperatures are going to make it hard to contain new and existing fires.
Man, Wednesday was nasty. We had record high temperatures, gusty to strong winds, a lot of smoke, poor air quality, and multiple new fire starts. I have GREAT NEWS though. Today was the worst of it! It is not going to be this hot again until next summer, and although the fire danger will continue to remain high until we get a good soaking, the fire danger for the rest of this year should not be as high as it was today.
Heading through tonight, the wind will gradually die off, although it will still be breezy with gusts up to 40 mph at times, especially before midnight. It is also going to continue to be smoky tonight, but the smoke will diminish and the air quality will begin to improve some after midnight, especially along the Hi-Line. We are also going to have partly to mostly cloudy skies tonight with a few scattered showers and thunderstorms around. Also, lows tonight are going to be in the 50s and low 60s.
For tomorrow, it is still going to be smoky in southern and western Montana, including around the Helena area, but for a lot of central and north-central Montana, the smoke is not really going to be an issue tomorrow and we are finally going to have widespread good air quality. It is also going to be A LOT COOLER tomorrow than it was today as highs are going to be in the 60s and low to mid 70s. The wind also won’t be as strong tomorrow as it was today, although it is still going to be breezy as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 25 mph, and gusts up to 40 mph are going to be possible at times. This wind is also going to be coming out of the north. There are also going to be a few scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms around tomorrow, generally in southern and central Montana during the morning and then in north-central Montana during the afternoon and evening.
There are then going to be some scattered showers and a little mountain snow around on Friday as a disturbance passes through our area. Friday is also going to be the coolest day that we have had in months as highs are going to be in the 50s and low to mid 60s. We are also going to have partly to mostly cloudy skies on Friday, and there is going to be a bit of a breeze around on Friday as well as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 20 mph.
It is then going to be COLD Saturday morning as lows are going to be in the 30s in most locations. There are also going to be areas of frost around Saturday morning, so please make sure you take the necessary precautions to protect any sensitive plants that you may have. As we go through this weekend, the temperatures are going to warm up a lot as highs are going to be in the 70s on Saturday and the 80s on Sunday. We are also going to have lots of sunshine and mainly dry conditions this weekend.
On Monday, we are going to have partly cloudy skies and dry conditions. We are then going to have partly cloudy to mostly sunny skies with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms on Tuesday and Wednesday. The temperatures are also going to cool down a bit over these three days as highs are going to be in the 80s on Monday; the upper 70s and low to mid 80s on Tuesday; and the mid to upper 70s and low 80s on Wednesday.