Weather Forecast: Smoke Friday, Rain Saturday

Posted at 5:46 AM, Sep 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-18 07:46:57-04

MISSOULA — Friday will be yet another smoke filled day across the northern Rockies.

By the afternoon the winds of change will be blowing in southwest Montana. Good news, this will start to move smoke out of valleys. Bad news, high fire danger is expected today with the increasing winds. A Red Flag Warning is in place today for areas in southwest Montana especially along and east of the divide.

The rest of us will be under a very strong, almost winter like inversion. This will inhibit afternoon heating and keep thick smoke in the valleys through the day.

Starting tonight and lasting though Saturday, widespread light rain will develop across the northern Rockies. All locations are expected to receive rain with the heaviest falling in southwest Montana. High temperatures will drop into the 60s Saturday.

A cool and dry day is expected Sunday with much better air quality behind the cold front. Highs will remain in the 60s to low 70s.

Looking at next week, models are showing high pressure rebuilding over the western United States. This will bring warm and dry conditions back to the forecast and also allow smoke and haze to return as well. However, a bit of good news, the smoke does not look settle in like it has this week. Instead a more hazy atmosphere looks more likely.