Fire weather remains critical


We are tracking a cold front that will bring a few showers and thunderstorms to the region. The best location will be across southwest Montana. Once again, gusty winds will create dangerous fire weather. A RED FLAG WARNING has been posted for the Beaverhead, Bitterroot and Lolo National Forests. West northwest winds may gust to 35 mph. An AIR QUALITY ALERT remains posted from Kalispell south through Missoula and Hamilton east to the Deer Lodge area. Air quality ranging from unhealthy to hazardous. Today's highs will be in the 70s, close to 80.

An upper level storm will bring widespread rain and snow to the region beginning Thursday. WINTER STORM WATCHES and WINTER WEATHER ADVISORIES will go in effect for Thursday night and early Friday for Lost Trail, MacDonald, Big Hole, Chief Joseph and Targhee passes. Snowfall of 1 to 3 inches above 6000 feet and 3 to 6 inches above 7000 feet.

Rainfall of 1 to 2 inches east of the divide, including the Bozeman area, with up to 1 inch along the divide, including the Butte area. Rainfall of a quarter to three quarters of an inch across west central Montana, including the Missoula area. Rainfall of a tenth to a quarter of an inch across northwest Montana, including Kalispell. It will be cooler Thursday and Friday. Most areas will see highs in the 40s and 50s by Friday.

FROST and FREEZING conditions are possible in some areas this weekend.

Another large storm system will bring a chance for another widespread rain and snow evening for next week!