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Hot to Snow (In the Mountains) in 48 Hours...

Posted at 11:15 AM, Sep 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-05 13:15:50-04

MISSOULA — Happy Saturday!

We’re in for an active weather day, with big changes coming over the next couple of days!

A Red Flag Warning is in place for western Montana from 1 pm on Saturday until 10 pm. There are three factors in play creating the need for this warning…gusty winds up to 30 mph, very low relative humidity in the range of 12% - 17%, and hot highs ranging from the lower to upper 90s. A Red Flag Warning means that conditions are at their peak for fire ignitions, and rapid fire spread. Those hot highs in the 90s will be close to or at record highs for the day in many locations.

As we look into Sunday, we can expect a breezy, but calmer day with slightly cooler highs. That said, it will still be well above normal with afternoon highs ranging from the lower 80s to lower 90s. We’ll see a sunny sky on Sunday.

Labor Day Monday will see a huge shift in our weather pattern as a very strong cold front will drop down from Canada. Once again, it will be very windy. Another big part of this system will be the likelihood of snow in the West Glacier Region in the higher elevations. For the valleys of western Montana, we’ll see a significant cool down, with highs only reaching the upper 40s to middle 50s. A good example in the significant drop in temperature is Missoula, where our expected high of 93 on Saturday, will be followed by mid 80s on Sunday, and mid 50s on Monday. Strong northerly winds will make those mid 50s feel even cooler. The other piece of this system will be valley rain. It won’t be an all-day soaking rain, but we can expect a few hours of persistent rain during the morning through early afternoon.

If you feel as though we’re jumping from summer to mid-autumn in two days, there is good news. The rest of the week will feature sunshine, and much calmer conditions. Afternoon highs will still be relatively cool on Tuesday, with most reaching the lower to upper 60s. Wednesday will bring highs in the middle 70s to lower 80s. Thursday and Friday will bring highs ranging from the upper 70s to upper 80s.

Have a wonderful and safe weekend!