The Howe Ridge wildfire in Glacier National Park is now Montana’s largest wildfire of the year at more than 9,600 acres. Drier, warmer and windy conditions will return the next few days which will likely result in growth on some Montana wildfires. This weather pattern change will also drag more smoke from wildfires burning in states to our west, also from British Columbia. Air quality has begun to deteriorate Wednesday and will likely trend that way for Thursday and Friday as well. Thursday will have more typical August weather with highs in the 80s to around 90, but an increasing west wind will increase the fire danger and the fire activity on existing fires. Air quality will likely get worse on Thursday with smoke blowing in from wildfires to the west. Friday, a cold front will move through the state with scattered thunderstorms. These storms will have rain, but also lightning strikes. Although temperatures will only be in the 70s, the wind will be gusty from the west. Smoke and fire danger will remain high. Saturday, the wind will ease up some and highs will only be in the 70s. Skies will likely be smoky and hazy. Sunday will be the beginning of the next storm cycle. Thunderstorms will pop in the afternoon, and highs will only be in the 60s and 70s. Monday and Tuesday will be cooler with showers and thunderstorms, lower temperatures, higher humidity and cleaner air. The long range trend will be for another cool-down and stormy cycle for the beginning of September. I believe the worst of the summer heat and fire danger is behind us, but summer and fire season are not over yet.
Have a great day.