A Red Flag Warning is in effect for all locations east of the Continental Divide until 9pm Saturday. Strong winds and low relative humidity may allow any new and/or existing fires to grow and/or spread rapidly.
A High Wind Watch is in effect for locations along and just to the east of the Continental Divide from 9am until 9pm on Saturday. In the watch area, sustained wind speeds on Saturday are going to be between 20 and 35 mph, and wind gusts up to 65+ mph are going to be possible at times, especially along the Rocky Mountain Front.
We are going to have decreasing clouds tonight with a slight chance of light rain showers in locations north of Great Falls. It is also going to be much warmer tonight than it was last night as lows are going to be in the mid to upper 40s and low to mid 50s in most locations. There is also going to be a little bit of a breeze around tonight as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 5 and 20 mph.
For tomorrow, we are going to have mainly sunny skies during the morning and increasing clouds during the afternoon and evening. Some isolated rain showers are also possible tomorrow afternoon and evening, generally in locations west of I-15. It is also going to be windy tomorrow, especially during the afternoon and evening, as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 15 and 35 mph, and wind gusts up to 50+ mph are going to be possible at times. We are also going to have a wide range of temperatures tomorrow as a cold front begins to work its way through our area as highs are going to range from the low 60s in western Montana to the mid 90s in eastern Montana. Highs for most locations in central Montana are going to be in the 80s tomorrow.
Hazy/smoky skies are also expected tonight and tomorrow, and the air quality at times may be in the “moderate” or “unhealthy for sensitive groups” category. A cold front will then bring cleaner air and good air quality back to our area tomorrow night.
On Sunday, valley rain and mountain rain/snow is likely in south-central Montana (including Helena), and there are going to be some scattered valley rain and mountain rain/snow showers around in north-central Montana (including Great Falls) as a storm system begins to work its way through our area. There are then going to continue to be some scattered valley rain and mountain rain/snow showers around on Monday as this storm system begins to leave our area.
Between early Sunday morning and Monday evening, light snow accumulations of a couple inches are possible in the mountains, with even higher amounts possible on the highest peaks. In the valleys, there is going to be a wide range of rainfall totals as some locations are only going to receive a couple hundredths of an inch of rainfall, while other locations may receive up to three quarters or even an inch of rainfall. Right now, locations in southwestern and south-central Montana are expected to receive the most precipitation, while locations in north-central Montana are expected to receive the least precipitation.
It is also going to be a lot cooler on Sunday and Monday as highs are only going to be in the mid to upper 50s and low to mid 60s in most locations. There is also going to be a bit of a breeze around on both of these days, especially during the PM hours, as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 20 mph.
Mostly sunny skies and mainly dry conditions are then expected on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday as an upper level ridge is generally going to be in control of our weather. The temperatures are also going to warm up some on Tuesday and Wednesday as highs on Tuesday are going to be in the upper 60s and low to mid 70s in most locations, and highs on Wednesday are going to be in the mid to upper 70s in most locations. A cold front is then going to cool our temperatures back down into the mid to upper 60s for Thursday. High temperatures are then going to be back in the upper 60s and low to mid 70s next Friday. It is also going to be breezy on Tuesday and Wednesday, especially during the PM hours, as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 25 mph.