A RED FLAG WARNING will remain in effect until 9 pm for most of the state.
The combination of dry air and breezy to windy conditions have elevated the fire concern for most of the state. West wind is expected to gust up to 40 mph at times, and relative humidity could get as low as 10 percent. Under these conditions, any fires started by lightning over the past few days will be able to grow and spread rapidly. The passage of yesterdays' front has cooled Friday's daytime highs to the 80s and low 90s. The air quality has improved across the state due to the change in wind direction, but unfortunately, that will not be the case for Friday and this upcoming weekend.
Saturday and Sunday, a ridge of high pressure will strengthen, and that will allow for dry and hot conditions to prevail through the weekend. Thankfully, the wind will be on the light side. Saturday's temperatures will slowly begin to rebound above the seasonal average. The highs will top out in the 80s and 90s. By Sunday, daytime highs will climb to the upper 90s and triple digits.
Next week, the ridge of high pressure will amplify, which will permit daytime highs to soar back into the triple digits. Records will likely be set in the eastern half of the state. Dry conditions will still be present along with low humidity, which will result in critical fire weather.
By midweek a disturbance will move in and bring more cloud cover and a chance for storms and thunderstorm activity to move back into the forecast.
If you have any plans this upcoming weekend, please be sure to check the Montana Department of Environmental Quality for air quality updates.
Enjoy your weekend.