Air quality worsening across SW Montana today

Posted at 2:05 PM, Aug 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-15 16:05:02-04

Air quality is still the biggest concern in today’s weather forecast as a strong High pressure ridge is overhead and wildfire smoke is digging down into most valley floors.

The wildfires near Ennis is dropping SE ward down into the West Yellowstone area and according to the MDEQ air quality rating has been elevated to “UNHEALTHY” Wednesday afternoon.

Stage I fire restrictions will be issued for Jefferson County beginning Friday afternoon. This means there will be restrictions to campfires and outdoor smoking to avoid accidental fire starts.

Montana fire restrictions

City by City Forecast:

BOZEMAN: LOW: 49°; HIGH THURSDAY: 88°. Warm dry and smoky will be your basic weather pattern heading into Thursday morning. Air quality will remain in the moderate range for particulates but could move into the unhealthy for sensitive groups if conditions worsen. There is a slight chance for a pop up afternoon thunderstorm Thursday.

BUTTE: LOW: 47°; HIGH THURSDAY: 86°. Dry and warm through Thursday with considerable wildfire smoke likely to continue. There is a slight chance for a pop up afternoon thunderstorm Thursday.

DILLON: LOW: 50°; HIGH THURSDAY: 87°. Storm free for the next 24 hours but the biggest concern is lingering wildfire smoke and at times it can be unhealthy. There is a slight chance for a pop up afternoon thunderstorm Thursday.

WEST YELLOWSTONE: LOW: 38°; HIGH THURSDAY: 79°. Wildfire smoke is keeping West Yellowstone’s air quality rating in the “Unhealthy” range this afternoon. Look for warm and dry weather for the rest of today but there is a slight chance for a pop up thunderstorm Thursday.


The next weather maker is a Pacific cold front to arrive on Friday. Ahead of this front temperatures will jump up into the upper 80s to mid 90s in SW Montana. There could be some pop up thunderstorms Thursday afternoon so watch for building storm clouds. There is a much better chance for showers or thunderstorms Friday through Sunday as an upper level Low moves into the region producing a cool down with a good chance for off and on showers and rumbles. 


Montana Department of Environmental Quality – Air Quality: CLICK HERE