Chance for strong to severe storms Sunday


Severe thunderstorms are possible Sunday afternoon around the greater Missoula and Butte regions. The national Storm Prediction Center has upgraded the severe storm risk on Sunday for parts of Missoula, Powell, Lewis and Clark, Granite, Ravalli, Deer Lodge, Jefferson, Silver Bow, Lemhi, and Beaverhead counties. Storms are less likley to become severe around Kalispell and Bozeman, but could still pack a punch. High winds over 60 mph and large hail are possible with any storms that grow strong enough to become considered severe.

Prolonged storm activity in one area on Sunday could lead to flooding of small streams since water levels across the area are pretty high. Double check that your emergency flashlight has fresh batteries and stow loose items in your yard in case of high winds and potential power outages.

Most of the action should begin between 1 and 3 p.m. and peak during the early evening. The strong cold front that will help fuel storm development will pass across Montana's western half west to east by midnight Monday. Most storm activity in our region should be wrapping up at around 10 p.m.

Sunday temperatures will start in the 50s and rise to the upper 70s to mid 80s generally before dropping about 10 degrees as the cold front passes.

Monday will begin with a few showers hanging around but improving conditions in the afternoon with highs only in the 60s and 70s. Midweek will be hot with highs near 90 degrees likely in Bozeman, Missoula, and Kalispell. More thunderstorms are likely Thursday and Friday before a cooler weekend.

The continued warmth will not help river levels. The Salmon River will remain at moderate flood stage all of the upcoming week while parts of many rivers will reach minor flood stage or action stage by Tuesday.

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