Posted: Jul 5, 2012 8:06 AM by Chrissy Kohler - StormTracker Weather Center
Updated: Jul 5, 2012 8:47 AM
MISSOULA- I hope everyone had a fantastic and safe Fourth of July. We had picture perfect weather here in Western Montana. But now as we head into the weekend, we're in for quite a bit of a warm up.
A ridge of high pressure is strengthening over the Northern Rockies and that's bringing us sunshine and heat. Highs today will top out in the 80s across the board. We are seeing a few of the high, wispy clouds moving through the Missoula and Bitterroot valleys due to a plume of moisture moving up out of the desert southwest. We have the very slim chance for an isolated thunderstorm this afternoon in the extreme southwestern part of the state, but it is something to be aware of.
Friday and Saturday, we'll continue to see the thermometer rise! Our highs will warm into the mid 80s to low 90s. By Sunday, we'll all be into the 90s but it doesn't stop there. Monday and Tuesday of next we're looking at highs in the 90s with even some locations in the Bitterroot Valley pushing into the triple digits! It's a good time to remind folks to drink plenty of water, take breaks from the heat and don't leave the kids and pets in the car.
High pressure will remain the dominate weather feature for the Northern Rockies but we're also heading into monsoon season in the desert Southwest. That means from time to time plumes of moisture will be pushed our way. For the most part, that means we'll just see an increase in clouds. However, during the afternoon, the presence of the moisture combined with the heat allows for the formation of isolated thunderstorms. The chance is rather low each afternoon, but the potential for these storms is still there so its something to be aware of as you head outdoors.