BOZEMAN – Upper-level disturbance is passing through Montana Thursday afternoon producing scattered showers, thunderstorms and even some higher mountain snow. Strong WSW wind gusts are also increasing as this system begins to move into SW Montana Thursday afternoon.
Locally, peak wind gusts 30 to 50 mph are possible through sunset tonight. This will produce areas of blowing dust and lower visibility. The Logan Landfill has closed temporarily due to the gusty winds and blowing dust Thursday afternoon.
This system should pass through quickly and thus only light precipitation is possible. Skies could begin to clear after midnight. The combination of clearing skies and colder air behind this system will produce frosty morning lows Friday. Forecast lows are between 25 to 35 degrees. I highly recommend covering flower beds tonight to protect them from frost.
Another system will brush up against the far western half of Montana Saturday morning and could bring a few showers west of the divide. However, a building High-pressure ridge will force this system to lift up into Canada. This could produce more wind on Saturday.
Another significant pattern change begins on Sunday. As the High-pressure ridge gains strength temperatures will begin to rise sharply Sunday and we could see near record highs by Monday and Tuesday. In fact, some areas could see low to mid 90s by Tuesday afternoon.
Extremely dangerous weather could impact the far eastern counties of Montana and most of North and South Dakota Thursday afternoon. The Storm Prediction Center has a high probability for damaging storms with very large hail, damaging wind gusts, and tornadoes.