Pattern change arrives in a few days

Below normal temperatures with increasing rain
Posted at 1:44 PM, Aug 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-01 15:44:58-04

BOZEMAN – Good news! Cooler temperatures with increasing areas of rain is in the forecast later this week. Hopefully this will ease fire conditions a little bit but right now this is not a knockout punch for fire season.

Wildfire smoke continues to create considerable haze across SW Montana with most reporting stations Tuesday afternoon in the “moderate” category for air quality.

There is an AIR QUALITY ALERT up until further notice across far western Montana from the Bitterroot up through Kalispel. Numerous fires in that region is creating periods of elevated particulate levels and this can be hazardous to those who are sensitive to the thick smoke.

Back to the good news. Cooler temperatures will roll back into Montana, in fact, forecast highs will only reach the upper 60s to low 70s by the end of the week and during the upcoming weekend. A Pacific trough of Low-pressure will spin into the northern Rockies later this week triggering the cooling trend.

Also, monsoonal moisture from the south will lift northward helping to bring periods of rain and some thunderstorm activity. Of course, with new thunderstorms and lightning comes the risk of new wildfire starts.

It’s still a bit too early to predict how much rain is possible but with slower moving thunderstorms does come the risk for locally heavy rainfall later in the week. I’ll have updates on the changing weather pattern tonight at 5:30 pm and 10 pm on KBZK and KXLF.