Smoke and thunderstorms return by Wednesday afternoon

Posted at 1:08 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 15:08:33-04

BOZEMAN – Chilly to cold this morning over SW Montana and higher mountain valleys dipped into the lower 30s to the lower 20s. Elk Park this morning was down around 23° for a low this morning. Butte fell down to 33° for a morning low and that was just a few degrees above record levels.


The chilly start is also the reason for the cooler than normal daytime highs today. A Pacific storm passing through southern Canada dropped a cold front through Montana last night and opened the door for cooler air to drop southward.

We will continue to see slightly cooler temperatures for the rest of the week with another reinforcing shot of cool air arriving Saturday.

Air quality did improve today across most of Montana with that frontal passage. The only exception is around West Yellowstone and Yellowstone National Park. Wildfire smoke mostly from California continues to lift into eastern Idaho and most of Wyoming where “Air Quality Alerts” are ongoing.


Forecast models show there is a good chance for thick wildfire smoke to push back into all of SW Montana Wednesday into Thursday.

Isolated late afternoon thunderstorms could also develop Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. Watch for building storm clouds for a few days with the flow aloft returning to the SW. Some storms will produce a mix of dry and wet thunderstorms.