BILLINGS- You can see those towering cumulus clouds already starting to fire up as you look west of Billings Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile in Billings, we are at 83 degrees with a southwesterly wind at 12 mph under a partly cloudy sky.
Other temperatures around the state are mostly into the 50s and 60s in the southwest with the thunderstorms already starting to fire up and 70s in the northwest. But look at all the 80s back in the east. That’s where the heat is Thursday.
Now our thunderstorm outlook for Thursday shows isolated showers and thunderstorms expected all over Montana, but they are not expected to be severe, because we don’t have the wind shear to drive them to severe limits.
However, the showers and thunderstorms are already firing up in southwestern Montana, west of Bozeman. They do contain a lot of lightning and brief periods of heavy rain and some areas are expecting small hail.
Our high-resolution forecast model is showing the showers and thunderstorms will continue to drive eastward as the day goes on.
They could produce some spotty thunderstorms in the Billings area about 4:30 p.m.
After that, they’re expected to dry up overnight and again Friday morning. We are expecting to return to afternoon thundershowers on Friday afternoon, thanks to the daytime heating.
The same process will repeat itself on Saturday afternoon with dry conditions during the day, but afternoon splash and dash thundershowers developing after 4:30 p.m.
Our temperatures are expected to get into the 80s today and again on Friday. This will be all the heat needed to pop those thunderstorms up around the mountains and then watch them slide out onto the plains.
TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy with a 40% chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms in the evening and then again overnight. West winds 5 to 15 mph. High 85 degrees.
FRIDAY: Partly sunny with a 30% chance for rain showers in the morning and thunderstorms in the afternoon. West winds 10 to 20 mph. High 83 degrees.
SATURDAY: Mostly sunny with a 20% chance for showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph. High 76 degrees.