MISSOULA — Air quality continues to fluctuate as wildfire smokes pours in from the west.
We’ve seen air quality anywhere from unhealthy for sensitive groups to unhealthy on this Wednesday afternoon.
More smoke continues to blanket our area through Thursday night and Friday morning.
A change is still set to occur Friday afternoon through Saturday morning.
The winds will start shifting from the south/southwest to the west and eventually the northwest.
A low pressure system is dropping out of our northwest and will slowly approach late Friday and early Saturday morning.
Besides the change in wind direction, cooler air will be moving in.
The most important change will be the arrival of rain.
Late Friday night through Saturday afternoon rain moves into our area and into much of the Pacific Northwest.
This will really help controlling those fires that are burning to our west.
There is an increase in fire danger in our area as this change initiates.
Dry, warm air will still be flowing in from the south on Friday afternoon.
While wildfire smoke starts moving out, the initial increase in wind and dry air will prompt fire concerns across the southwest part of our state.
A Fire Weather Watch has been issued for areas like Philipsburg and parts of the Sapphire Mountains for Friday afternoon and evening.
After this shift in wind is complete, that’s when we see those cooler temperatures (highs in the 60s) and rain move into our forecast to start the weekend.