July rain showers are rare, but welcome events in western Montana.
Many early-risers in our listening area awoke to just that this morning and weather forecasters say more of the same is coming.
National Weather Service meteorologist, Genki Kino, says this morning's rain was the first measurable precipitation in Missoula for this month. Nearly two-tenths of an inch of rain fell between 4:30 and 6-a.m.
No more is expected for the rest of this evening, but Kino says an incoming weather disturbance is going to affect most of western Montana this week, starting tomorrow.
“Things are going to get started early in north central Idaho and then move off into western Montana probably later in the morning into the afternoon; but the biggest day for thunderstorms is looking like Wednesday – especially Wednesday afternoon. We could definitely see some strong thunderstorms develop in the afternoon into the evening. So Wednesday’s definitely a day to keep your eyes on the weather.”
Kino says any of these storms could produce intense rainfall.
“It won’t probably last that long, but any thunderstorms will be capable of producing some heavy rainfall for a short duration. The main threats on Wednesday will be damaging wind gusts and some hail. We could probably see quarter-sized hail in certain places across western Montana. As of right now, it does look best from Missoula, eastward; those areas and southwest Montana also - (areas like) Butte”.
As the front moves eastward on Wednesday evening, Kino says winds will pick up and temperatures will drop. Thursday's daytime highs may be in the mid to upper 70's, but warming back up to the 80's and 90's by the weekend.