Lightning threat begins tonight in the region
A cold front will bring heightened fire danger to western Montana late Wednesday night and Thursday.
Until then, we continue to see smoke as our biggest weather issue. AIR QUALITY ALERT continues for Missoula, Ravalli and Granite Counties due to poor air quality. The air will fluctuate between Unhealthy and Hazardous at times in the alert area today.
Most of us in the afternoon will be sunny, breezy and very warm with highs in the 80s to lower 90s. Isolated dry thunderstorms will form in central Idaho late in the day and could drift into Montana as far east as Butte. Ravalli, Granite, Lemhi, Deer Lodge, Silver Bow, and Beaverhead counties have the best chance for evening storms. Lighting strikes will begin in a region that is steadily descending into drought with extreme fire danger.
The cold front arrives late Wednesday night and Thursday. Widespread, beneficial rain is not likely. However, a few areas will be lucky enough to see welcome rain. Storms and rain will be possible starting mid-morning around Missoula and Kalispell while storms will wait until the afternoon for Butte and Bozeman. Poor fire weather conditions are expected Thursday with gusty winds and lighting.
The sun returns Friday through the middle of next week. After highs fall to the upper 70s to lower 80s Thursday and Friday, hgihs will warm back to the 80s to around 90 this weekend and next week.