BOZEMAN – A complex weather pattern for several days over the western U.S. including Montana. A strong High-pressure ridge is parked over the central Rockies producing a warm, dry and windy pattern over SW Montana.
This pattern will continue into Thursday and begin to break down by Friday. Wildfire smoke will remain one of the ongoing hazards through the end of the week. Air quality conditions will continue to be poor and at times will be unhealthy over SW Montana.
Red Flag Warnings are up for the Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forest areas of SW Montana Wednesday afternoon through 8 pm. Hot, dry and windy conditions will produce higher fire danger and under these conditions human caused fires increases significantly.
That pattern shifts east of the divide Thursday with a new Red Flag Warning issued from Noon to 9 pm Thursday. Hot, dry and windy weather will produce higher fire danger from Helena to Bozeman to the Northeast.
The next weather maker is a series of disturbances knocking down the high-pressure ridge on Friday. Monsoonal moisture from the SW will lift up into the Pacific NW at the same time a Canadian cold front drops into northern Montana.
Cooler temperatures, gusty winds, and hopefully some much needed rain could develop over western and NW Montana. The greatest potential for measurable moisture will be along the Rocky Mountain Front, Glacier National Park and into central Montana. There is a slight chance for showers and cooler temperatures over SW Montana Friday night into Saturday.