Montana Public Radio

National Weather Service

A helicopter drops water on the Beeskove fire north of Missoula July 26, 2019.
Eric Whitney / Montana Public Radio

Updated 10:45 p.m. July 26, 2019.

The Lewis and Clark County Sheriffs Office has ordered evacuations near Helena due to growing danger from the North Hills Fire. Residents near the intersection of Snowdrift and Ferry, east to Hauser Dam Road are ordered to evacuate the area.

Hot, dry weather has settled over Montana and brought with it wildfires, burn bans and red flag warnings.

A National Weather Service advisory for elevated fire danger for July 24-25 in north-central and southwest Montana.
National Weather Service.

North-central and southwest Montana are facing elevated fire danger this week, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

After a fairly cool, wet summer, the area is beginning to see the dry, warm weather that could lead to fires. 

A three-month precipitation outlook forecasts a slighter wetter than average summer for Western Montana.
National Weather Service

Western Montana’s extended climate outlook calls for a typically warm summer and maybe more rain than normal.

That from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center which has issued its 90-day outlook.

A flood warning is in effect for parts of west Missoula.
National Weather Service Missoula

A flood watch predicted late last week for a portion of Missoula was upgraded to a warning Monday.

Water from the Clark Fork River floods onto Tower Street in Missoula, May 7, 2018.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

A slice of west Missoula will be under a flood watch from Tuesday morning until further notice.

Missoula temperatures are expected to hit the high 70s next week as the Clark Fork swells with snowmelt.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Jeff Kitsmiller says residents near Kehrwald Drive and the north end of Tower Street should prepare their homes in advance.

“I’m sure most of those people already have their sandbags ready. But if they don’t, right now and through the weekend is the time to get them set and try to redirect that water around their house," he says.

Flooding in Missoula along the north end of Tower Street, May 7, 2018.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

The Clark Fork River above Missoula tipped just above flood stage this week. The National Weather Service says it reached 7.6 feet Monday. Minor flood stage is 7.5 feet.

Montana Drought Status by County, April 2019
Montana Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee

Most of Montana is not showing signs of drought, but there are a few noteworthy exceptions.

Experts aren’t worried about widespread drought conditions this spring in Montana. But the governor’s Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee was told in Helena Wednesday that there are a handful of parched areas.

Temperatures will be slowly increasing in the Northern Rockies, starting this Friday and lasting through the first half of next week, with highs reaching the upper 40s to low 50s across much of north central Idaho and western Montana. March 13, 2019.
NWS Missoula

While a blizzard slammed parts of southeast Montana Wednesday, it seems winter weather is finally giving way to spring-like conditions west of the divide.

National Weather Service Missoula says spring runoff season is just about to start in earnest. 

Marty Whitmore is the warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Missoula.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Marty Whitmore, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Missoula, joined MTPR's Michael Marsolek to give a big-picture view of the recent weather patterns impacting Montana.

Whitmore explains the differences between weather watches, weather alerts and weather warnings, and talks about how the National Weather Service works.

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