A FIRE WEATHER WATCH has been issued for most of central Montana for Friday afternoon and evening.
The upcoming sequence of weather events is not good: thunderstorms and lightning strikes followed by strong wind and low humidity.
A few thunderstorms pushed through western Montana on Wednesday afternoon and evening. Thursday will have more widespread thunderstorm activity throughout the state. A cold front will move through in the afternoon providing lift and energy that will fuel the thunderstorms. Some of the storms could produce large hail and damaging wind. Highs will be in the 80s and 90s before the arrival of the storms. Rain will accompany the storms, but so will lightning. It's the lightning strike holdovers that will pose a serious problem for Friday. Behind the cold front, much cooler air will move throughout the state. Highs will be in the 70s and 80s. However, low humidity and gusty wind will really elevate the wildfire risk. If a lightning strike was to smolder, the weather conditions on Friday would allow for rapid wildfire growth. Please be very aware of that heightened fire threat. Saturday will also likely meet red flag warning conditions with low humidity and gusty wind creating high fire danger. Cooler air and lighter wind will prevail on Sunday. Highs will be in the 70s and 80s to round out the weekend on a beautiful note.