Thursday: Explosive Wildfire Growth Potential

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Posted at 5:21 PM, Aug 03, 2022

A RED FLAG WARNING continues for most of the state into Thursday evening.
A HIGH WIND WARNING has been issued for the Rocky Mountain Front and out the Hi-Line for Thursday.
A HEAT ADVISORY continues for eastern Montana through Thursday.

The wildfire danger is going to get worse before it gets better. Thursday will likely be one of the worst days of the year as heat, very low humidity and very strong wind combine to create explosive fire growth potential. Existing fires could grow significantly, and new fires could take off quickly. Thursday will heat up again with highs in the mid to upper 90s, and some 100s in eastern Montana. There will be a few isolated thunderstorms over central and eastern Montana through the afternoon and evening. Wind will gust up to around 65mph along the Rocky Mountain Front, and most elsewhere in the state could have gusts up to 50mph. Humidity values may drop to between 6-14% for much of the state. A cold front will move through the state later in the day and the wind will begin to subside at night. Temperatures will cool off and the humidity will rebound some. Friday will be mostly sunny with a few isolated thunderstorms over southern Montana. Highs will stay in the 70s and 80s, with a north wind between 10-20mph. Overnight lows Friday and Saturday nights will be in the 40s and 50s. Saturday's highs will top out in the 70s and 80s and the wind will not be as bad. There is a chance some monsoon moisture will produce scattered thunderstorms through Friday night and Saturday, but most of this will be over southern and eastern Montana. Sunday will be sunny and warm with highs in the upper 80s and low 90s. Another blast of heat is likely early next week with some areas hitting the 100s on Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday will be the hottest before temperatures cool down by Wednesday with a return of isolated thunderstorms.

Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist