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Beautiful Rain but Wind & Wildfire Danger Return

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Posted at 6:03 PM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 21:31:44-04

What a beautiful rain and cool down! And how about that sunset and rainbows on Sunday night? A strong low pressure produced strong wind that fanned the flames ahead of the cold front. Widespread areas in the state saw between 0.50" and 1.00" of rain. Some of the fires including the Woods Creek, Balsinger, Harris Mountain, and American Fork fires had significant rain. The air quality for the first time in nearly a month was "good" for most of the state. Temperatures were cool if not downright chilly for August. However, there will be a rather quick and rude return to extreme fire danger and behavior. Wind will be an issue over the next several days followed by heat. Tuesday will be partly cloudy with west wind up to 30mph. Highs will be much warmer, reaching back into the 70s and 80s. Not hot, but it will be warm enough for fires to start heating back up. Wednesday will be windy, sunny and hot. Highs will be in the 80s and 90s. Look for wildfire activity to ramp up again with air quality decreasing. Thursday will be sunny and dry with highs in the 80s. The wind will ease up, coming from the east at only 5-10mph. A monsoon high will redevelop sending heat back across Montana for Friday and Saturday. Highs will be way up in the 90s and a few locations may even reach 100. A few isolated monsoon thunderstorms could push through with lightning strikes on Saturday. Sunday will be hot, dry and windy with another big wildfire day likely. Next week, it is likely that another wet and cool storm system will impact much of Montana. While the fire danger will start off high on Monday, many locations could be looking at a repeat of last Sunday's rain and cooler temperatures. The switch in weather may continue for several days, allowing more relief for the fire fighting efforts.
Have a great day.
Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist