Rain now is better than fires later

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Posted at 4:22 PM, May 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-25 18:22:45-04

A FLOOD WATCH has been issued for eastern Montana.
A FLOOD ADVISORY has been issued for parts of the Jefferson and Clark Fork Rivers.

A very wet pattern continues for all of Montana and most of the West, which puts these areas in a better position with fire season nearing. No, this will not eliminate wildfire concerns. An argument could be made that all of this warm, wet weather will create a lot of underbrush and grass growth, creating more fine fuels when they do ultimately dry out. However, a wet spring is better than a dry spring. The record breaking wildfire season of 2017 saw most of Montana diving into drought through April and May. That is certainly NOT the case this year. Memorial Day Weekend is nearing and the weather will not be that unusual as most of these holidays historically are wet. Thunderstorms will continue to move through the state over the next several days and heavy downpours are likely with the storms. Heavier rain with thunderstorms across eastern Montana could lead to flooding there. Friday is a big travel day and there will be big thunderstorms through the afternoon and evening. Highs will be a bit cooler again, in the 50s and 60s for most areas, and a few 70s farther east. Memorial Day Weekend will start out very wet with some drying through the holiday. Saturday will be mostly cloudy with widespread showers and thunderstorms. If you're planning on being outside, plan on having wet weather in the afternoon and evening. Mountain temperatures may cool into the 40s in heavy showers, but elsewhere highs will be in the 60s and 70s. Sunday will be partly cloudy to start but scattered thunderstorms are likely through the afternoon and evening. Monday will be mostly sunny with just a few isolated thunderstorms as a front moves through the state. Highs will be in the 70s and Memorial Day should be the driest day, although central and southern areas will have some isolated storms. The warm and wet pattern will continue into the beginning of June.

Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist