Stormy Anniversary of Mann Gulch

Posted at 5:21 PM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 20:36:41-04

It's the anniversary of Mann Gulch, a day that would forever change the way wildfires were fought. Strong thunderstorms with heavy rain but also lightning are moving through the state. This has been a very difficult and extreme fire season, but heavy downpours will offer a little relief from the heat and fire danger. Some new wildfires likely will start because of the lightning tonight, but there are more opportunities for rain. The next several days will feature everything from more storms, to extreme fire danger and growth, to rain and high mountain snow, to a big cool-down. The first low pressure arrived earlier on Thursday with a line of storms working into Montana. This system will continue to produce rain and thunderstorms through Thursday night into Friday. The heavier rain and higher concentration of thunderstorms will be across the southern half of Montana. Highs will be a little cooler on Friday, in the 70s and 80s. As this storm system moves east later in the day, the wind will increase out of the west. Wind will be a major issue for Saturday, and there will likely be RED FLAG WARNING conditions for most of Montana. Some gusts could approach 30mph out of the west, there will be low humidity, and highs in the 80s to around 90. Sunday a cold front will move into the state with increasing clouds, showers and thunderstorms through the day. Highs will only be in the 60s and 70s, and the higher elevations will be much cooler. There will likely be snow in the mountains above 8500' on Sunday night. Monday will have some showers early with partly cloudy and breezy conditions by the afternoon. Highs will only be in the 60s and 70s again. It should be a nice but brief break from the heat and the smoke. Another round of hot temperatures and dry conditions are likely for the end of next week into next weekend.

Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist