Laboring to Breathe in Wildfire Smoke

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Posted at 5:27 PM, Sep 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-04 21:17:07-04

An AIR QUALITY WARNING is in effect for most of central and eastern Montana into Tuesday.
A DENSE SMOKE ADVISORY is in effect for northeast Montana into Tuesday afternoon.

Happy Labor Day! Much of the state could be laboring to breathe with nasty Canadian wildfire smoke moving in across much of the state east of the mountains. A low pressure system that's produced great rain and cool temperatures, helping the Montana wildfire situation, has at the same time created a northerly flow that's dragging down wildfire smoke from our neighbors to the north. Smoke is "unhealthy" for most areas across the plains and everyone should close their windows and avoid outdoor exertion. Tuesday will start out smoky in many areas with some spots in a dense fog. Air quality will be slow to clear through the day but it should gradually improve. Skies will be mostly sunny but a few isolated thunderstorms will pop in the afternoon. Highs will be much warmer in the 70s and low 80s. Wednesday will be another nice late summer day with mostly sunny skies and highs in the 70s to around 80. More of a west wind should push any remaining wildfire smoke out of the state and the air quality will be much improved. A few isolated thunderstorms are possible late in the evening near the Continental Divide, Helena and Great Falls. Thursday will be another great day with mostly sunny skies and highs in the 70s to around 80. Friday another storm system will move in with partly cloudy skies and a few thunderstorms through the afternoon and evening. Highs will be in the 70s. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will continue into the start of the weekend. Saturday will have a few showers and thunderstorms with highs in the 70s. Sunday will be drier but there still will be a few isolated thunderstorms around. Highs will be pleasant in the 70s.

As much as 1-2" of rain has fallen in parts of Montana, and just about everywhere has received a solid soaking. This is not a wildfire season ending storm, but it certainly does help bring us closer to the end.

Have a great day,
Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist