Thunderstorms Friday afternoon and a look at growing drought conditions

Posted at 2:03 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 16:03:45-04

BOZEMAN – Turning up the heat continues for Montana Friday through Sunday with well above normal temperatures and a few record highs Saturday.

High-pressure is parked over much of the western half of the country blocking storms from passing through the state. A deep trough is setting up along the west coast and that will strengthen a southerly flow aloft which in turn is producing the unseasonably hot weather.

Undercutting the ridge will be a limited amount of moisture which could produce a few late day thunderstorms Friday and Saturday for SW Montana.

The Storm Prediction Center has a “moderate” risk for a few isolated strong to severe thunderstorm to impact SW Montana east of I-15 Friday afternoon to early evening. Bozeman has the best chance for a stronger thunderstorm early Friday evening. This means there could large hail or damaging wind gusts with a few of these storms.


The drought monitor is updated every Thursday and the new information shows a narrow band of “moderate” drought conditions through central Beaverhead into central Madison counties. About 2.5% of Montana is now under moderate drought conditions. Much of the southern half of the state is experiencing abnormally dry conditions.

May has been a disappointing month for rain across the southern half of Montana. May is one of the wettest months of the year on average and locally we should see 2” to 3.5” of rainfall. This year only about half of our normal rainfall has been reported for May in SW Montana.