From 100 Wednesday to Frost Friday Night

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Posted at 5:31 PM, Sep 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-05 19:56:31-04

A RED FLAG WARNING continues for northern and eastern Montana.
An AIR QUALITY ALERT continues for west central and southwest Montana.
A FIRE WEATHER WATCH has been issued for Wednesday.

Nasty out there. Some places have had "unhealthy" air quality for over 24 hours, but some cleaner air is coming in from the northwest. Also, 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. Extreme fire danger will also proceed light rain and higher elevation snow later this week. BUT we have to get there first. Tuesday will be hot, dry and smoky, but the wind will be much lighter. The air quality should improve a bit, but still be far from perfect. Highs will be in the 80s up north to the low 90s down south. Wednesday will be another incredibly dangerous fire weather day with record heat, strong wind, low humidity and isolated afternoon thunderstorms. Highs will top out in the 90s and low 100s, very similar to the conditions from Saturday (if you remember). Air quality will be pretty bad as fires grow, emitting more smoke. The reason for the high fire danger is an approaching cold front that will cross the state into Thursday with cooler air and a possibility of showers. 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. 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, 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. 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.

Stay cool.
Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist