There is an Air Quality Alert in effect for Cascade County and counties to the south and west of Cascade County until at least 8am tomorrow morning. The air quality in these counties is generally going to be in the “unhealthy” to “unhealthy for sensitive groups” categories tonight. The smoke is also going to continue to be pretty bad tomorrow and Sunday, so this Air Quality Alert is likely going to be extended as the air quality for most of this weekend is likely going to at least be in the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” category. If you have any respiratory issues, definitely limit your time outdoors this weekend. If you do not have any respiratory issues, then try and avoid prolonged outdoor exertion this weekend. Now it is too early to know how bad the smoke is going to be next week, but it is likely going to continue to be pretty hazy/smoky as wildfires continue to burn throughout the western U.S.
It is also going to be very hot over the next week, and due to this heat, there is an Excessive Heat Warning in effect for eastern Montana until 9pm on Thursday, and there is an Excessive Heat Warning in effect for east-central Montana from 12pm Saturday through 9pm Tuesday. There is also a Heat Advisory in effect for locations along I-15 from noon on Sunday until 9pm on Monday or Tuesday depending on your exact location.
In eastern Montana, high temperatures tomorrow through next Thursday are going to range from 100° to 108°. In east-central Montana, highs tomorrow through Tuesday are going to range from 100° to 105°. Highs are then going to be in the mid to upper 90s in east-central Montana next Wednesday and Thursday. In central Montana, high temperatures are going to be in the mid to upper 90s and low 100s this weekend and most of next week.
Now since it is going to be very hot over the next several days, make sure you limit your time outdoors during the heat of the day, and if you do have to be outside at all, make sure you stay hydrated; wear loose-fitting and light-colored clothing; take frequent breaks in the shade or AC; and avoid doing strenuous activities. Also, make sure you frequently check in on family members and neighbors to make sure that they are doing okay, and make sure you NEVER leave any pets or humans in a closed car as temperatures inside a car can get very hot very quickly.
We are going to have a chance to see a few rain showers and thunderstorms early tonight as a disturbance passes through our area. Locations in south-central Montana, including Butte and Helena, have the best chance to see this precipitation. We are also going to have decreasing clouds tonight.
Mostly to mainly sunny skies are then expected this weekend as an upper level ridge is going to be in complete control of our weather. Most locations are also going to be dry this weekend, but a couple isolated rain showers and thunderstorms are possible tomorrow afternoon/evening in northeastern Montana, and Sunday afternoon/evening in all of Montana.
We are then going to have partly to mostly cloudy skies on Monday, and partly cloudy skies on Tuesday. Mostly sunny skies are then expected on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Some isolated rain showers and thunderstorms are also possible from Tuesday through Friday of next week as some monsoonal moisture tries to work its way into our area. Right now, of these four days, Tuesday features the best chance of seeing some precipitation.
In terms of the wind, it is going to be breezy on Monday and Tuesday in eastern Montana as sustained wind speeds are going to be between 10 and 20 mph. Outside of that, Montana standard winds (sustained wind speeds between 5 and 15 mph) are expected over the next week.