A tremendous difference in smoke conditions was clearly visible between Helena and western Montana, compared to Great Falls and most of central and eastern Montana.  Smoke and haze are hung up along and west of the Continental Divide.  An AIR QUALITY WARNING remains in effect for most areas west of the Divide.  Scattered thunderstorms will move out of the area this evening.  Thursday will be very similar to today, with smoke west of the Divide and thunderstorms popping over the mountains in the afternoon.  New wildfires have been reported around Glacier National Park and there have been some reports of smoke in the Elkhorn Mountains south of Helena.  More fires are possible with more lightning strikes.  Thunderstorms will be isolated near and just off the Continental Divide.  Highs will be in the 70s and 80s.  Friday, isolated thunderstorms will pop across the state with highs in the 70s to around 80.  This weekend will be drier with highs in the 80s to around 90.  Southwest winds will pick up each afternoon and the fire danger will be high.  Smoky skies will continue to move across Big Sky Country as long as fires are burning in British Columbia.

Have a good day!

Curtis Grevenitz

Chief Meteorologist

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