A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH is in effect for north central Montana until 11pm this evening.  Already, one severe thunderstorm blasted through Powell and part of Lewis & Clark Counties.  Large hail, damaging wind, and blinding rain are possible with a thunderstorm in this area.  A cold front moving into western Montana is creating energy and lift for these powerful thunderstorms.  Not everyone will see rain and storms, but everyone will cool down tonight into Friday.  Friday will be blustery with highs in the 60s and low 70s.  Showers and thunderstorms will develop for most of central and southern Montana.  While the wet weather will be more widespread, the atmosphere will be more stable and thunderstorms will not be as powerful.  West winds will gust in excess of 30mph at times.  Saturday, a little light rain and wind could affect early morning runners for the Governor’s Cup.  West winds will be between 5-15mph at the start of the race, with a few light showers around, and temperatures in the upper 40s and low 50s.  For most of the state on Saturday, skies will be partly to mostly cloudy, highs will be in the 60s, and west winds will top out between 20-30mph in the afternoon.  Sunday will start out mostly sunny, but clouds will increase with a few thunderstorms over the southwestern mountains.  Highs will warm into 60s and low 70s.  Monday and Tuesday, a big soaking storm will hit much of the state.  Moderate to heavy rain, wind, and high mountain snow will hit the state.  Some places could receive more than 2″ of rain.  Highs will be much cooler, only in the 40s and 50s, with 30s in the mountains.

Stay safe this evening.

Curtis Grevenitz

Chief Meteorologist

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