A warmer airmass moved into the state on Wednesday with high temperatures of 55 in Lewistown, 54 in Great Falls and Choteau, and 49 in Cut Bank. Northeast Montana and the valleys of western Montana stayed in the 20s and 30s for highs. While northeast areas of the state will briefly warm up on Thursday, the valleys will trap colder air and stay in the 30s for highs. There will be a stronger wind for the prairies and mountains on Thursday, gusting as high as 30mph. High pressure will move in on Friday with mostly sunny skies. Conditions will develop for inversions to form in the valleys of western Montana this weekend, trapping cold air there. Elsewhere over the prairies, temperatures will warm into the 40s to around 50 through the weekend into next week. So while some parts of Montana will have unusually warm temperatures for mid-January, the valleys will have cold air but also stagnant air trapped. Air quality will become an issue later this weekend into next week as the number of consecutive days of inversion increase. Toward the end of next week, a return to a stormier pattern may bring snow, colder air and cleaner air back to the state.
Have a great day.