BOZEMAN - A Pacific cold front is passing through Montana this afternoon and this will kick off a cooling trend tonight through the end of the week.
Ahead of the front the flow aloft is strong out of the SW, and this is paving the way for thick wildfire smoke to push across the southern half of Montana and most of Wyoming. At times the air quality rating has been as bad as “unhealthy” today.
The flow aloft should veer out of the NW, and this should improve air quality tonight into Wednesday. However, low level smoke could linger for the rest of the week and possibly turn nasty again by the weekend.
The Department of Environmental Quality has issued an “Air Quality Alert” for Beaverhead, Madison, Gallatin and Park Counties through Wednesday morning. Alerts also cover most of Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park. Limit your exposure outdoors if the thick smoke has health related impacts.
An upper-level Low will spin through southern Canada over the next couple of days and should produce a cooler pattern across Montana but all the moisture with this storm is likely to stay in Canada.
The overall weather forecast for the rest of the week is dry, cooler, locally windy at times. By the weekend temperatures will begin to warm gradually back to normal or slightly above normal.