Montana Public Radio

National Weather Service

The critical fire weather and poor air quality across much of Montana will last at least until the end of the week.

Almost half of the state’s air monitoring stations bounced between "Unhealthy" and "Moderate" air quality readings Monday afternoon

After near record-breaking heat this weekend, a significant cold front will bring a dramatic change to much colder, near record-breaking cold on Monday and Tuesday.
National Weather Service Missoula

The state is bracing for yet another round of dangerous wildland fire conditions Saturday, which will soon be followed by unseasonably cool temperatures.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Corby Dickerson says the weekend weather forecast is "gonna be a tale of two different weather patterns."

National Weather Service

Several communities across southwest Montana are beginning to see smoke move in from wildfires in northern California. Fine particulate levels in Bozeman shifted into the unhealthy category around 8 a.m. Saturday, according to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s air monitoring website. Butte’s air quality also shifted into unhealthy territory around 10 a.m.

Hamilton, Dillon and West Yellowstone were all experiencing air quality levels that can affect sensitive groups Saturday morning as well.

The National Weather Service recorded at least 1,700 lighting strikes across the Northern Rockies last night and early this morning. Over 200 of them hit a hot and parched western Montana where fire danger is increasing.

Drought conditions in Montana as of June 30, 2020.
Adam Hartman - NOAA/NWS/NCEP/CPC

Montana’s southern tier is experiencing drought conditions that are expected to intensify this summer. That’s according to the latest Montana Drought Forecast report, presented this week to the Governor’s Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee.

Northwest and west central Montana started out dry in early spring but have recently benefited from lots of rain and cooler-than-normal temperatures.

National Weather Service Missoula

A wet, chilly weather system is moving into Montana this weekend, and for the foreseeable future, it could make the season feel a lot more like autumn than summer.

Wildland fire managers told Governor Steve Bullock June 16 in a 2020 fire season briefing they’re ready for what could become an above average fire year made even more complicated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Courtesy of National Weather Service - Missoula

Western Montana weather forecasters are keeping a close eye on the potential for some powerful storms between 7 p.m. and midnight Friday.

National Weather Service Missoula

It’s not your imagination: It’s been an unusually cool Montana May. That’s about to change in a big way.

A high-pressure system building over western Montana will lead to temperatures warming to near 90 degrees by Friday. That’s 15-20 degrees above normal for this time of the year according to National Weather Service-Missoula meteorologist Jeff Kitsmiller.

The National Weather Service advises heavy rain is possible across portions of southwest, central and north central Montana over the next three days. It could lead to the flooding of streams, creeks, and rivers originating from the mountains.
National Weather Service-Great Falls

Widespread heavy rain showers are rolling through Montana Monday evening. They are expected to intensify through the week, meaning rivers and streams will soon be on the rise.

Steady rain and driving rain storms will be the predominant weather throughout the northern Rockies this week, according to National Weather Service-Missoula hydrologist Ray Nicolas.