Q2 Weather Update: Severe weather and high water on the long weekend

Posted at 2:31 PM, May 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-26 16:31:42-04

Very warm temperatures kick off the long weekend, with highs pushing 90 degrees in many places today, but things will get a little less pleasant as the weekend rolls along.

This afternoon into evening there is the chance for scattered severe storms to develop across much of the state.

Here in Billings sometime around 8 o’clock appears to be the window for severe storm development. Areas in the northeastern portion of the state are also at risk but with the time frame being later in the evening into the overnight hours.

Sunday will follow suite with rains beginning in the early afternoon and the potential for more severe weather in the afternoon and evening.

All of the rain, combined with the snow melt caused by the warm temperatures we are currently enjoying, will add additional moisture to river basins that are already bank full in many areas.

The forecast for major flooding that we saw a couple days ago has been lessened slightly, but is by no means gone entirely.

The Yellowstone River at Billings is still forecast for flooding heading in the early portions of next week, although the estimates are now for it to be below the record levels initially forecast. Again, this does not mean that the threat is no longer there. Those in low lying areas or on floodplains should take this opportunity to prepare in advance of possible flooding conditions.

The forecast for the Clarks Fork River is still for major flooding at both Belfry and Edgar with water levels approaching record highs. The timing for this is very similar to the Yellowstone at Billings, with peaks expected late in the day on Monday.

I know many will have holiday weekend plans, but if you live in these areas your weekend plans should include taking steps to protect your property and a vigilance towards the forecasts. The Billings NWS office updates the river forecasts daily around noon and can be found on the Billings NWS website under Rivers and Lakes.

For now I would suggest enjoying the sunshine and hot temperatures since today will likely be the best day of the weekend!