BOZEMAN – A rare extreme heatwave continues for Montana through Wednesday. Temperatures will remain 15 to 25 degrees above normal and another round of record highs is possible Wednesday.
The good news is in the extended forecast. A cooling trend will begin on Thursday with temperatures falling down to normal levels by the end of the week. Unfortunately, there is only a slight chance for a few isolated showers or thunderstorms with the pattern change.
The obvious weather hazard today is thick wildfire smoke. This will not change for several days but hopefully with a pattern change later this week and a NW flow aloft will could see improved air quality.
The worst air quality Sunday and Monday has been in the Butte area. Air quality ratings fluctuate between moderate, unhealthy for sensitive groups to just unhealthy across SW Montana.
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality issued an “AIR QUALITY ALERT” for all of SW Montana until further notice. The thick smoke is to blame. Try and limit your exposure as much as possible especially if you have underlying health problems.
A RED FLAG WARNING continues through 9 pm Monday for Meagher, Park and Gallatin Counties. The combination of hot, dry and windy conditions will produce extreme fire behavior so please continue to be extremely careful with all outdoor activities.
is up for Wednesday afternoon and evening for most of central Montana extending down into northern SW Montana. Wednesday will be another critical fire weather day with temperatures rising back up into the mid to upper 90s, afternoon surface wind gusts 20 to 40 mph, and very low humidity will again produce erratic fire weather behavior.
Ahead of a cold front Wednesday we will see another surge of extreme heat and wind. Record highs are likely midweek. Beginning Thursday temperatures will start to fall and we should finally level out near normal by the upcoming weekend.