Lightning strikes by the hundreds if not thousands have hit Montana over the last 24 hours or so. There have been numerous new wildfire starts because of lightning strikes. This storm system producing the fire starters is also producing some very heavy rain and there is potential for flooding. This dual threat will continue for several days as the low pressure will be moving very slowly.
This low will become nearly stationary over the state keeping thunderstorms around (that will spark new wildfires), but also some good moisture and cooler temperatures will help slow potential wildfire growth. Wednesday will be cloudier, cooler and wetter. Areas of light to moderate rain will move through the state in the morning, followed by some heavy thunderstorm activity in the afternoon and evening. Highs will be in the 70s and low 80s. Thursday could be a very wet, rainy day with mostly cloudy skies for most of the state. There will be thunderstorms too, but the rainfall will be plentiful and widespread. Highs will mainly be in the 70s. Friday will have a little more sunshine with scattered thunderstorms across the state. Highs will be slightly warmer in the 70s and 80s. Saturday, thunderstorms will become more isolated as the low pressure finally starts moving out. Highs will be in the low to mid 80s. Sunday will be mostly sunny and nice with highs near 80, but the afternoon wind could increase to 25mph. Dry and hot weather returns next week with increasing fire danger. Looking longer range, fire danger could become extreme with hot temperatures and strong wind heading into Labor Day Weekend, but there is a chance of a major cool-down with widespread rain through the holiday weekend.