All-Time New Record Highs for September Likely

Posted at 5:19 PM, Aug 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-30 20:28:58-04

Wednesday is the final day of August, but temperatures are going up into the beginning of September. In recorded history, some cities in Montana have never hit 100 degrees in September, including Helena and Great Falls. It's likely that there will be 3 or even 4 days through the weekend into next week that temperatures will be right around 100. This is record heat, and it will come with some wind that will be terrible for fire danger. A sprawling high pressure continues to build over western North America allowing for widespread heat, and there will not be much movement of this high for nearly a week. The lack of much thunderstorm activity may be a silver lining because without lightning strikes, there will not be any new wildfires started by Mother Nature, but a few very isolated thunderstorms are in the forecast for Wednesday night. Wednesday will be a few degrees hotter with afternoon temperatures in the 90s across the state. A bit of a southwest wind will develop late. If there is an isolated thunderstorm this week, it will be Wednesday evening as a weak disturbance and cold front move into the state. These couple of storms could spark a few isolated new wildfire starts with lightning strikes. On Thursday, temperatures will take a small dip of a few degrees as highs will still be in the 80s and 90s. The wind behind that front could gust in excess of 20mph. Friday will be sunny and hot with highs in the 80s and 90s, but the wind will not be bad. Labor Day Weekend will be hot, dry and breezy. Record temperatures are possible all three days, with much of the state topping out right near 100 degrees. After a moderate breeze on Saturday, Sunday and Monday's wind will increase with gusts topping 20-30mph. Tuesday will also be very hot and windy. There may not be a break until late in the week. These likely will be the worst wildfire conditions we experience all year. Wildfire smoke is already on the increase from growing fires outside of Montana. There are several large fires emitting smoke in Idaho, Oregon and northern California. Smoky skies are likely with the potential of deteriorating air quality this weekend.

Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist