Extreme heat returns this weekend and more wildfire smoke to cover SW Montana

Posted at 1:51 PM, Jul 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-09 15:51:24-04

BOZEMAN – Wildfire smoke will be thick at times this weekend into next week with the flow aloft out of the WSW. Numerous large and small wildfires burning in Oregon, Idaho, Washington and western Montana will contribute to the hazy skies.

An Air Quality Alert has been extended through Sunday for western Wyoming including Yellowstone National Park. Wildfire smoke can produce unhealthy air quality conditions this weekend so please try and limit your outdoor exposure if you have health related concerns.


A weak upper-level Low is spinning over Northern Montana Friday afternoon producing a brief cool down Friday afternoon with scattered showers and a few thunderstorms. Most of the thunderstorms are barley clipping the northern half of SW Montana. Helena to Bozeman could see an isolated thunderstorm by sunset Friday.

The weekend weather pattern will see a building High-pressure ridge and another round of extreme heat. Temperatures will reach the 90s Saturday and we could be in the mid 90s and a few lower 100s by Sunday.

Sunday will be a critical fire weather day. The combination of extreme heat, humidity between 8% to 15%, and afternoon surface wind gusts 20 to 40 mph will produce extreme fire conditions over SW Montana.

A FIRE WEATHER WATCH is up for most of western and SW Montana Sunday. The watch will likely see an upgrade to a Red Flag Warning. This means conditions are good for new fire starts. Human caused fires are the greatest concern Sunday. Please be extremely careful with all outdoor activities this weekend but especially on Sunday.