Hallelujah! Rain, cooler temperatures and widespread cloud cover were welcomed through most of fire-weary Montana. Rain fell through a lot of the state, and fell on many of the state’s wildfires. The cooler temperatures and increase in humidity also aid in taking the edge off of the fire danger, at least for the time being. The air quality that was terrible across the state this weekend is improving somewhat, also at least for the time being. An AIR QUALITY WARNING continues for parts of western Montana. Rain acts like a filter and cleans out the air, but Montana’s wildfires will increase in activity later this week. Also, big fires in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia did not see much moisture and have continued to emit large amounts of smoke that will move back into Big Sky Country. Rain will continue tonight into Tuesday morning in the central and southern areas of the state. Lows will be chilly, and even a touch of snow is likely over the higher peaks above 8,000′. Tuesday will start out cloudy in central and southern areas, with sunshine closer to the Hi-Line. Eventually, most locations will see some sun on Tuesday with highs in the 60s and 70s. Tuesday will be a pleasant day, but the air quality will still be an issue. Wildfire danger increases again on Wednesday as warm, dry and breezy conditions return. Highs will climb back into the 80s and a few thunderstorms will fire over the southwest and central areas in the afternoon. The fire danger will continue for the remainder of the week into the weekend, as most days will be warm and windy. Expect air quality to deteriorate as well, as the wind will carry smoke from areas to the west across Montana. Overall as August winds down, temperatures will not be as hot and there is more chances for rain and cooler temperatures. Fire season will continue, but the worst could very well be over.
Enjoy the rain.