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Water on Wildfires to Help Air Quality

Posted at 3:57 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 21:07:27-04

An AIR QUALITY ALERT is in effect into Friday morning for most of Montana.
A RED FLAG WARNING has been issued for southwest Montana for Friday afternoon.

Clean air and positive changes are coming. A storm system off the Pacific Coast that's been steering smoke into Montana this week, is finally on the move. This storm will be beneficial as it produces rain for much of the northwest and northern Rockies over the next several days. Rain will fall on some of the huge fires in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Some fires in California could even see rain, and will experience cooler temperatures to slow those fires at the very least. Friday will be another very smoky day with poor air quality. A few showers and thunderstorms are possible late in the evening over the western part of Montana. Saturday the low pressure will move directly over the state with scattered showers. The rain and the storm system itself will help to filter out some of the smoke. Look for air quality to improve through Saturday into Sunday. The storm will move out of northeast Montana on Sunday. In it's wake will be cooler temperatures, windy conditions and cleaner air. Monday and Tuesday's air should be decent, meaning "moderate" and not completely clean. As the flow turns to the southwest on Wednesday, smoke concentrations will once again increase. Right now it looks like a slow end to fire season as temperatures gradually cool and minor storms bring lighter rain and mountain snow over the next few weeks.

Have a good day.
Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist