BILLINGS — On the first full day of fall, the fall colors are showing in beautiful parks in downtown Billings.
At 2 p.m. in the Billings area, it was 76 degrees with mostly sunny skies with a little smoke in the air. Our wind was out of the south at 7 mph.
The forecast shows the smoky conditions are expected to stick around for the Billings area for the rest of Wednesday and into Thursday. But by Friday, Saturday and Sunday, most of the smoke will be gone.
The air quality across Montana is considered moderate at this time. Birney and Sidney are the only stations that are reporting good air quality.
Around the rest of the state, our current temps are mostly to the 60s, 70s and even a few 80s here and there, like at Livingston and Miles City.
Plus, we have a Red Flag Warning for south-central Montana and a Fire Weather Watch for the northern part of the state. In both cases, we are expecting high winds, low humidity and warmer temps to create erratic fire behavior throughout most of Thursday.
Right now, the Doppler radar and satellite imagery shows dry conditions across the state with a few clouds through the midsection of Montana.
Part of the reason for the fire weather warnings is a new warm front that that will be moving into the region and kicking out the cold air in eastern Montana and moving it into the high plains.
That warm front covers most of eastern Montana throughout the day on Thursday. Then a cold front will follow that on Thursday night into Friday and produce spotty rain showers as we head into the weekend.
It will be 80 degrees at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, then we cool back down into the 60s by the morning. We will jump up to 81 degrees at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.
We will top out at 85 on Thursday, then a new cold front moves through and cools us back down into the 70s for Friday, through the weekend and into the beginning part of next week.
TONIGHT: Partly cloudy and mild. South winds 5 to 10 mph. Low 56 degrees.
THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy in the morning, then becoming sunny early in the afternoon. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph. High 85 degrees.
FRIDAY: Partly sunny with a 20% chance for rain in the morning and cooler. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph. High 70 degrees.