Turning up the heat by the weekend and a look at May precipitation trends

Posted at 2:52 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 16:52:47-04

BOZEMAN – We will be ending the month of May with a strong blocking High-pressure ridge pattern that will produce dry and hot conditions.

The ridge will slowly gain strength over the next couple of days and there is a slight chance for a passing shower tonight into Wednesday morning. As the ridge builds the overall pattern will be warm and dry.

Saturday should be the hottest temperature day with this pattern change and there is still a chance for a few record highs to be broken with highs in the mid 80s to lower 90s.


Climatology for Bozeman Yellowstone Airport regarding 90 degree temperatures. The earliest occurrence of our first 90 degree temperature day was May 12, 2007. On average we typically see our first 90 degree day around June 24th and the latest occurrence was July 23, 1948.


As long as we are talking climatology let’s look at May precipitation trends. Unfortunately, the month of May has been drier than normal. SW Montana is running around a half an inch to one and three quarters of an inch below normal.


Below normal valley precipitation has been occurring over SW Montana since March.

Mountain snowpack will likely see continue to rapidly melt with the upcoming heat wave this week into next week. Snowpack percent of average values for water content are looking very healthy for central and northern Montana but not as good for the southern basins.


The data is pointing to a possible earlier fire season start if the below normal precipitation trends continue into June along with above normal temperatures.