BOZEMAN – Smoke has returned to most of Montana today but a cold front should scrub most of the lower level smoke out by Friday night or Saturday morning.
Air quality ratings were mostly in the moderate range except for Dillon with a rating of unhealthy for sensitive groups around noon Thursday.
There is a weak disturbance building over SW Montana today with isolated showers and thunderstorms through the afternoon hours. As this disturbance moves into central and eastern Montana the probability of stronger thunderstorms is much higher. In fact, the Storm Prediction Center has a moderate to slight risk of damaging thunderstorms from Lewistown to Billings eastward through Thursday evening.
The next weather maker is another Pacific storm passing through Montana Friday and exiting the region by Saturday morning. A cold front will arrive Friday producing gusty winds, cooler temperatures and a slight chance for showers and thunderstorms mostly north of I-90.
The upper-level Low will pass through Southern Canada with a better chance for showers and thunderstorms the closer to the Low you are Friday into Saturday morning. SW Montana will only see a glancing blow of isolated showers and rumbles Friday with this storm, but temperatures will be well below normal across the entire state Friday into Saturday.
This weekend will feel like fall with cooler temperatures on Saturday and beginning to warm up by Sunday into Monday with near normal temperatures by early next week.