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Some Rain Possible Over Wildfires

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Posted at 5:42 PM, Jul 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-19 20:34:00-04

An EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING continues for central and eastern Montana until Tuesday evening.
An AIR QUALITY ALERT continues for much of western and central Montana.

It's already been a hot, fiery summer and there's a lot more of this season left. Wildfires have developed across the state and across the West. Over the last few days, wildfire smoke has resulted in "unhealthy" air to be outside in. A small disturbance with clouds, showers, thunderstorms and some cooler air will move through the state Monday night and Tuesday. Some showers and a few thunderstorms are possible through the night and through the day on Tuesday. This system will clean out the smoke just a little, and it's possible that some of the wildfires see rain. It's also possible that lightning strikes trigger new wildfire starts. Tuesday will be partly to mostly cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms. Some intense thunderstorms are likely through the afternoon and evening. Highs will be a little cooler, in the 80s and 90s. The air quality will likely remain "moderate" to "unhealthy for sensitive groups". Wednesday will also have scattered showers and thunderstorms across a lot of the state. Skies will be hazy and partly cloudy, with highs again in the 80s and 90s. Thursday the thunderstorm activity will be limited to the eastern and southern sections of the state. A stronger west wind will increase the fire danger yet again. Highs will warm into the 90s for most of central and western areas, but a few 100s in eastern Montana. Friday will have a dry cold front move through with stronger wind and very high fire danger. Some wind gusts could top out around 30mph with temperatures in the 90s to around 100. Behind this front, a northwest flow will push some of the wildfire smoke out of the area briefly. A southwest flow will return this weekend with more smoke and hot temperatures in the 90s and low 100s. This is getting to be the hottest time of the year, so fire danger will continue to be very high.
Stay safe and cool.
Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist