Warm temperatures followed by significant rain
Big changes are expected in the weather across western Montana through the weekend and into next week!
The warming trend will peak on Friday. Then a cold front will bring cooler air to the region this weekend with thunderstorms during the transition to cooler temperatures.
Thursday and Friday, increasingly warming conditions will occur under continued sunny conditions.. High temperatures in the mid 70s from Missoula to Kalispell with the possibility of 80 degrees in Missoula by Friday. Areas in southwest Montana will see highs in the 60s Thursday and in the low 70s by Friday.
These warmer temperatures will also allow for increased snow melt from the higher elevations. This will cause many local rivers, such as the Clark Fork, Flathead, and Blackfoot rivers, to see levels rise. In general, rivers will rise 2 to 5 feet through the weekend. We're not expecting rivers to flood quite yet, but it will bear watching in the weeks to come.
Nice weather will continue into the first half of Saturday. but big changes are likely Saturday evening as a strong low pressure system enters the area. We'll see a chance of thunderstorms Saturday night before a possible prolonged period of precipitation Sunday and into Monday. Weather models indicate significant amounts of rain, with one to two inches possible.
Highs in the 60s to lower 70s Saturday, dropping to the upper 50s and 60s Sunday and the 50s on Monday. Snow levels will drop to mountain pass levels, allowing for accumulations on the passes.