Smoke to Start Moving Out

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Posted at 5:40 PM, May 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-18 20:05:27-04

An AIR QUALITY ALERT continues for all of Montana.

After a few days of nasty smoke and poor air quality, there are signs that changes are beginning which will slowly push the smoke out. Still much of western Montana will have UNHEALTHY air into Friday. Montana has been in a northerly flow with smoke coming down from Canada. The windflow has turned to the northeast, pushing the worst smoke and air quality into western Montana up against the mountains. The air quality across the state will continue to be affected and will vary into the weekend. Like we experienced on Thursday, there will be periods of moderate air quality as well as downright unhealthy air quality through Friday. The windflow is beginning to switch around to the west and southwest and this will slowly push the smoke out through the weekend. Friday will be mostly sunny and warmer with highs in the 70s and low 80s. Some wildfire smoke may still persist making for gray-ish brown skies and continued poor air quality. This weekend will be warm with the chance of more thunderstorms. Saturday will be mostly sunny with isolated afternoon storms and highs in the 70s and 80s. Sunday will be partly cloudy with scattered strong to severe thunderstorms likely in the afternoon. Highs will be in the 70s and 80s. Strong west wind will develop for Monday and Tuesday, a HIGH WIND WARNING may be necessary for parts of Montana. This wind will push out any remaining smoke, and at this time the wind is not a concern to spread any wildfires here in Montana. A soaking rain could develop Wednesday and Thursday for Montana. There will also be rain and cooler temperatures up in Canada around the wildfires creating the current smoky situation.

Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist