After High Fire Danger, Summer Snow Likely

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Posted at 5:20 PM, Sep 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-14 20:42:53-04

A RED FLAG WARNING has been issued for southern and eastern Montana for Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Yes, I said summer snow. But first there will be high fire danger for most of the state on Wednesday. Strong west winds could gust up to 30-40mph, with some gusts as high as 55mph in a few of those normally windy locations. Humidity will be low, generally not more than 20%, and temperatures will be warm in the 70s. New fires could take off quickly, and the Trail Creek and Alder Creek Fires in southwest Montana will likely grow. The wind will ease up late on Wednesday evening. Thursday will be a much cooler day with highs only in the 60s. Northwest wind will gust up to 20mph. Thursday night's temperatures may drop down close to the freezing point for some areas. Frost is possible and it might be the end of some people's gardens. Friday will be partly cloudy, warm and breezy with highs in the 70s. Saturday a cold front will move over the Continental Divde through the afternoon and evening. West of the Divide will have rain showers, most areas east of the Divide will be dry. Highs will range from the 60s west to the low 90s in eastern Montana. Strong west winds could gust up to 40mph. Sunday will be a cooler and mostly cloudy day. A few showers will move through the state, but a strong low pressure will develop over Sunday night into Monday. This storm will produce widespread rain and higher elevation snow for most of the state. Highs will be chilly in the 40s and 50s. The mountains, cold enough for snow, will have highs in the 20s and 30s. Several inches of snow will accumulate in the mountains, with snow mixing in with rain perhaps down to around 5000'. Areas of rain and mountain snow may linger into Tuesday. This storm could really bring Montana close to the end of this year's bad fire season.

Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist