Fires to Flakes & Frost

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Posted at 5:08 PM, Sep 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-07 20:04:51-04

Wednesday has been absolutely brutal with record heat, powerful wind and major growth on fires. Just when it seems as if things are hopeless, cooler air and lighter wind will be moving into the state overnight. Get ready for a major temperature swing as parts of Montana go from near 100 on Wednesday to possibly a frost or freeze Friday night into Saturday morning. While this will not completely alleviate the fire danger, things will calm down some. Air quality that's been terrible will also improve, as the fires slow and the wind switches around to the north pushing smoke to the south. After Wednesday, the worst of summer's heat and fire danger will be behind us. Over the next week or so, things will really settle into more of a fall-like pattern. Thursday will be partly cloudy with highs in the 60s up north, 80s down south. The wind will still be pretty strong out of the northwest. There will be a few isolated showers becoming more numerous late in the day. Thursday night into Friday, there is a chance of some solid light rain and higher elevation snow. Most of Friday will be mostly cloudy with some showers and mountain snow, especially along and east of the Continental Divide out through central Montana. Highs Friday may hold in the 50s and 60s with the clouds and light precipitation. The mountains could have highs in the 30s and 40s, supporting some wet snow mixing in with the rain. As the storm moves out and high pressure moves in Friday night, temperatures will be the coldest in months. Most areas will drop into the 30s, with a frost or freeze possible. More good news, the rain and this northerly flow should help to clean out some of the smoke, at least temporarily. Saturday will be a gorgeous late summer day with highs in the 70s, clean air and sky, and a light east wind. Temperatures and wind will increase once again for Sunday and Monday. Moisture from Hurricane Kay, which is currently off of Baja California, could move up across a lot of the West from Monday to Wednesday of next week. It does look like summer heat and wildfire danger will really start to decrease right after the middle of September through the rest of the month. The worst of summer heat and fire danger will be behind us starting Thursday.

Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist