Today's Forecast: Smoke and extreme heat along with gusty winds and thunderstorms has fire danger in southwest Montana at a critical level for your Wednesday. Highs are expected to run nearly 20° above average today as cold front is taking aim at the region. Isolated thunder showers are possible for the afternoon and evening as winds gust out of the west between 20-30 mph. Biggest threats for severe weather include gusty winds from the base of those isolated thunderstorms. Many of these storms will be high based which means dry thunderstorms are likely which enhances our fire danger in the region.
BOZEMAN: High: 97; Low: 55. Hot and hazy with a few isolated thunderstorms possible this afternoon and evening. Westerly winds are expected between 20-30 mph.
BUTTE: High: 93; Low: 51. Temperatures remain hot with hazy skies and an isolated chance of thunderstorms. Winds will stay out of the west between 20-30 mph.
DILLON: High: 94; Low: 54. The heat and windy conditions will provide a slight chance of thunderstorms to develop early this afternoon.
WEST YELLOWSTONE: High: 88; Low: 46. Extreme heat expected in the area with a late afternoon thunderstorm possible.
Severe weather and fire danger threat for Wednesday:
A lot of weather parameters are coming together for Wednesday and early Thursday to provide critical fire danger for much of southwest Montana. Recent dry and hot weather has created extreme fire conditions in the region. A strong cold front is expected to rush through the area late Wednesday into early Thursday providing lift in the atmosphere that will allow rain and thunderstorms to form.
The Storm Prediction Center in Norman Oklahoma has issued a Slight Risk for severe weather. The main concerns for this revolve around the probability of high based thunderstorms to form along the frontal boundary that are capable of producing extreme wind gusts from the base of those storms. While the threat of widespread storms is low, the storms that do form will produce minimal amounts of rain while producing extremely gusty wind in excess of 60 mph. With the probability of lightning and gusty winds being high, fire danger will also be high. Sustained winds throughout the day are expected to be out of the west between 10-20 mph with gusts approaching 30 mph. Use caution and be diligent about fires and please be aware of your influence on fire potential.