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Q2 Weather: Billings could see smoke and showers Thursday

Posted at 2:43 PM, Aug 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 16:43:29-04

BILLINGS — It’s getting harder to see into Friday from Thursday afternoon because of all the smoke that's in the way. In Billings, it's 85 degrees with a southwest wind at 13 mph.

So, where's all the smoke coming from? It's coming from around this upper-level, high-pressure cell in the Great Basin area. The smoke from the Four Corner states is being pushed into California.

From there, it's slung up to Nevada, Idaho and into southwestern Montana. You'll notice the thicker smoke is right over the southwestern corner of the state. Strangely enough, that's where we have cooler temperatures into the 60s and 70s.

The smoke is acting like a sunscreen. The 90s are up in the northeast corner of the state, where we don't have as much smoke. But we do have a Red Flag Warning across the Hi-Line through Friday morning.

Low humidity, dry lightning and a cold front sweeping across the state could create erratic fire behavior. This could cause any fires that get started to burn out of control and hurry.

The Doppler radar shows the thunderstorms starting to move into northwestern Montana Thursday afternoon. That is where our cold front presently is. We still see a few spotty showers over the Beartooth Mountains, but that's about all at this time.

The high-resolution forecast model shows we have a marginal risk for severe storms across much of eastern Montana into Thursday night. That's because of the cold front sweeping across the state.

We expect to see some showers and thunderstorms in the Billings area around 6:30 p.m. They will continue to move into the eastern part of the state overnight, and we will see clearing skies on Friday and Saturday.

We will be at 93 degrees at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, then cool back down to 66 in the morning. Then back up to 83 degrees about 1:30 p.m. Friday.

The high temp on Friday will be 90 degrees and we will keep it in the 90s through the weekend until Wednesday, when we cool back down to 89 for the high that day.

BILLINGS FORECAST

TONIGHT: Decreasing clouds with a 40% chance for showers and thunderstorms in the evening and cooler. North winds 10 to 20 mph. Low 63 degrees.

FRIDAY: Sunny and not as hot. Northwest winds 5 to 15 mph. High 90 degrees.

SATURDAY: Mostly sunny and much warmer. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph. High 98 degrees.