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Dynamic Setup for Severe Thunderstorms and Flooding

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Posted at 6:25 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 20:51:43-04

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH continues through this evening.

A powerful area of low pressure moving through the Rockies has created conditions ripe for severe thunderstorms and even the outside chance of a tornado in Montana. Thunderstorms capable of producing large hail, damaging wind, torrential rain, frequent lightning and even an outside chance at a tornado will continue through Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Flooding is also possible along the Continental Divide and the Rocky Mountain Front as thunderstorms "train" over the same area over and over again. Training is just like a train with the thunderstorms acting like traincars running over the same area. Heavy rain combined with increasing snowmelt will create an increase in flood potential. Remember to "turn around, don't drown" if you encounter floodwater over a road. Wednesday, the heaviest rain will lift north into Canada through the morning hours with some sun poking through the clouds at times into early afternoon. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will develop again on Wednesday afternoon through the evening. The greatest threat of severe weather will be in central and eastern Montana. Thursday will be partly cloudy with a few showers, but very windy conditions will develop across Montana. Friday another wave of low pressure will move through the state with showers and thunderstorms, but snow could mix in down below 5000'. Saturday will be an unsettled day with showers and thunderstorms in the lower elevations, snow in the mountains, and windy conditions everywhere. The weather will make a dramatic turn for the better on Sunday with mostly sunny skies and much warmer weather throughout the state. Memorial Day will be mostly sunny and warm with a few isolated thunderstorms later in the afternoon.
Please be careful tonight.
Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist