The haze/smoke is back; high fire danger is back; and warm temperatures are back. It is early October, but it feels, looks, and even smells like we are still in the middle of summer with the weather that we had today and the weather that we are going to have again tomorrow. Southwesterly flow aloft is going to provide us with hazy skies through at least Wednesday. It is also going to be smoky at times over the next few days, especially in locations that are near actively burning fires.
With the high fire danger, there is a Red Flag Warning in effect for locations in southwestern Montana from 12pm tomorrow until 12am Wednesday; for locations along the Rocky Mountain Front in north-central Montana from 12pm until 6pm tomorrow; and for locations in northeastern Montana until 8pm tomorrow. Any new or currently burning fires are going to be able to grow and/or spread rapidly due to dry conditions, warm temperatures, and gusty winds. We saw a new fire (the South Moccasin fire) start and grow rapidly today as that fire is already at 1200 acres as of 4pm.
The wind is not going to be too strong tomorrow, but there is going to be a bit of a breeze around as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 20 mph. It is also going to be warm again tomorrow as highs are going to be in the upper 70s and low to mid 80s in most locations, and a few locations may even set a new record high temperature tomorrow.
An upper-level trough is then going to bring fall weather back to our area for the end of the work week. The temperatures are going to cool down some on Wednesday and Thursday as highs on Wednesday are going to be in the mid to upper 70s, and highs on Thursday are going to be in the mid to upper 50s and low 60s. Highs are then going to be in the upper 50s and low to mid 60s on Friday. We are also going to have partly to mostly cloudy skies from Wednesday through Friday. Also, none of these days are going to be a washout, and not everyone is going to see precipitation, but there are going to be some scattered rain showers around on each of these days, especially in locations east of I-15. A little snow is also possible in the higher elevations. The wind is also going to be on the lighter side on Thursday and Friday, but breezy conditions are expected on Wednesday as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 20 mph.
We are then going to have mostly sunny skies with just some isolated valley rain and mountain rain/snow showers around this weekend as an upper-level ridge is briefly going to be in control of our weather. We are also going to continue to have cool temperatures this weekend as highs are going to range from the mid 50s to the mid 60s. It is also going to be breezy/windy this weekend, especially during the PM hours, as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 30 mph.
Another upper-level trough is then going to bring some more moisture and even cooler air to our area for the beginning of next week. On Monday, highs are only going to be in the upper 40s and low 50s in the lower elevations. We are also going to have a chance to see some rain and snow showers on Monday in both the lower and higher elevations.