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Solar Storm Has Arrived

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Posted at 5:08 PM, Aug 17, 2022

A solar storm has arrived! A coronal mass ejection from the sun is now hitting Earth's atmosphere and the northern lights should be visible tonight. Right now the intensity of the storm would require people to get away from city lights, or try to have a clear view to the north without light pollution. If the storm intensifies a bit more, it may just be visible in city limits. That's the good news. The bad news is it's hot and dry and the fire activity and danger continues to increase. More fires in western Montana and Idaho have been active and smoke is increasing. The pattern we are in should keep smoke and poor air quality to our west. However, prevailing wind is from the west and southwest this time of year, so it may only be a matter of time before smoke begins to increase. Thursday will be very similar, with some cooler air over eastern Montana. Highs will be in the 80s and low 90s. Friday will be in the 80s and low 90s with a few isolated thunderstorms west of the Continental Divide. That moisture will start to spread east on Saturday with some isolated thunderstorms east of the Continental Divide out into central Montana. Highs will be in the 80s to around 90. Sunday will have a few more scattered storms over western and southern Montana. Highs will be in the 80s. There is a good chance for widespread thunderstorms producing a nice rain on both Monday and Tuesday. There is a possibility of a period of light to moderate rain as an area of low pressure drops south out of Canada with some cooler temperatures as well. This system could break the current heat that has lasted some time and provide some much needed moisture taking the edge off of the very high fire danger.

Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist