Q2 weather: South-central Montana could be in for severe thunderstorms Wednesday

Posted at 2:33 PM, Jun 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-19 16:33:56-04

BILLINGS- It is hard to believe that this is the last week of spring, and we still have plenty of snow up in the top of the Beartooth Mountains. In fact, we might even be adding some to it on the first day of summer.

In Billings, it feels more like summer, with partly cloudy skies and temps already into the 80s.

Around the rest of the state, the temps are a little cooler. The west is in the 60s and a lot of 70s elsewhere, but Billings is the hotspot already in the 80s.

Our thunderstorm outlook for Wednesday does show that Billings now is in a marginal risk of severe storms to our south and east. We have an increased risk of severe thunderstorms.

Most of the storms are coming out of Yellowstone National Park and tracking along the state line with Wyoming. And once they hit the heat that’s already in place in Billings, those storms are expected to start building.

In fact, that’s what our high-resolution forecast model is showing. At 5 p.m. South-central Montana, including Billings, could see some very heavy showers and thunderstorms, possibly even severe with large hail, high winds and heavy rainfall.

By Thursday morning, showers should move away. We will see just a few leftover sprinkles. But by that afternoon, a new upper-level, low-pressure cell will drop in Montana and produce more showers and thunderstorms for south-central Montana and Billings.

The moisture will actually wrap around that low pressure cell as it tracks up towards Glasgow and then come back down around the mountains and move into the Billings area again on Saturday.

Our high temperatures will drop out of the 80s and roll back into the 60s on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.


TONIGHT: Decreasing clouds with a 40% chance for evening showers and thunderstorms. Some storms may be severe in the evening. West winds 5 to 15 mph low 48 degrees.

THURSDAY: Mostly sunny and a morning with a 30% chance for showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon and cooler. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph. High 68 degrees.

FRIDAY: Becoming mostly sunny late in the morning with a 40% chance for showers and thunderstorms that afternoon. West winds 10 to 20 mph. High 62 degrees.