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Summer Snow, Wind Shift to Help Clear Smoke

Posted at 2:39 PM, Aug 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 20:44:32-04

BIG changes are on the way for Big Sky Country. First off, thunderstorms are back over the next several days. Moisture from what was Hurricane Genevieve in the Pacific is now streaming into the state. The storms will produce rain but also more lightning strikes. Thunderstorms could be severe on Tuesday afternoon, with the activity still widespread on Wednesday. With a monsoon high in place, the flow remains from the southwest. This wind pattern continues to transport smoke from wildfires in California, Oregon and Idaho into Montana. The air quality has been moderate to unhealthy, and this will continue to be the case until Thursday. More of a northwest flow on Thursday will suppress the thunderstorm activity and smoke to just south of Montana. Friday will be a nice day with sunny skies, light wind and highs in the 80s. The fire danger will really ramp up again on Saturday with a strong west wind and low humidity. Please be careful. Big changes and mountain snow will hit on Sunday. A cold front and low pressure will drop south out of Canada. Widespread rain and mountain snow above 7000' will move through the state. Highs will only be in the 50s and 60s in the lower elevations, with 30s in the mountains. The storm system will clear by Monday morning with cool and clear conditions. Highs will again be in the 60s and 70s. Warmer air returns quickly and the fire season is nowhere near finished. However, this will offer a break in the fire danger as well as clean air for Montana and the northern Rockies.

Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist