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Posted at 5:48 PM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 20:26:22-04

There has been *some* improvement as far as smoke and wildfire danger on Tuesday, but this will end up only being a brief little respite. Thunderstorms have moved into much of western Montana with heavy rain but also hundreds of lightning strikes. Here's to holding out hope that rain falls where the lightning strikes hit. There is decent moisture in the atmosphere, but with how dry everything has been, one or two days won't make a huge difference. Thunderstorms will continue through Tuesday evening and night. Wednesday will also have scattered showers and thunderstorms across a lot of the state. Showers and a few storms will cross the Hi-Line through the morning hours, with strong thunderstorms redeveloping in the southwest part of the state in the afternoon and evening. Skies will be hazy and partly cloudy, with highs again in the 80s and 90s. Thursday the thunderstorm activity will be limited to the central and eastern sections of the state. A stronger west wind will increase the fire danger yet again. Highs will warm into the 90s for most of central and western areas, but a few 100s in eastern Montana. Friday will have a dry cold front move through with stronger wind and very high fire danger. Some wind gusts could top out around 30mph with temperatures in the 80s and 90s. Behind this front, a northwest flow will push some of the wildfire smoke out of the area briefly. A southwest flow will return this weekend with more smoke and hot temperatures in the 90s and low 100s. Monday will have very hot temperatures and high fire danger. Some slightly cooler temperatures will start moving in for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Curtis Grevenitz
Chief Meteorologist