BILLINGS – The showers and thunderstorms are already starting to gather southwest of Billings.
This looks like it’ll mark the beginning of a very busy day across Montana for severe thunderstorms.
The setup is rather strange: most of the instability in wind shear will be moving in to Montana from the east while all the moisture will be moving in from the west.
Where the two air masses meet is where the storms will pop and drop a lot torrential rain, large hail and even possible tornadoes.
Most of the severe action is expected to take place after 6 p.m.
Our thunderstorm outlook for today shows a marginal risk of severe storms out west and an increased risk of severe storms for the Billings area. Multiple severe storms are likely for Miles City and severe storms are very likely from Baker to Bismarck.
By Friday, the show is over with and only isolated showers will remain.
Our threat board does have a flash flood watch, which begins at 6 p.m. and goes through late tonight for northeastern Montana.
The counties included in this flash flood watch are Prairie, Dawson, Fallon, Richland and Roosevelt.
The Doppler radar and satellite imagery already shows some thunderstorms are starting to develop over the Beartooth Mountains and travel northeast.
This puts most of the heavier thunderstorms just to the north of Billings by Roundup, Winnett and Glasgow around 7:30 p.m.
By 10:30 p.m., the big stuff starts firing up for Miles City to Sidney to Glasgow. Then another batch of light rain moves into the Billings area by 6:30 a.m. Friday.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy with a 60 percent chance for showers and thunderstorms in the evening with some thunderstorms becoming severe. North winds 15 to 25 mph. Low 55 degrees.
Friday: Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance for showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon and cooler. Northwest winds 5 to 15 mph. High 70 degrees.
Saturday: Decreasing clouds with only a 20 percent chance for showers in the afternoon. West winds 5 to 15 mph. High 73 degrees.