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Q2 Weather: Billings serves up a smoky weekend with spotty rain

Posted at 2:42 PM, Sep 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-18 16:42:30-04

BILLINGS — Smoke continues to be an issue in the Billings area. Although the visibility has improved to 8 miles at 2 p.m., that is not much of an improvement. But least it's heading in the right direction.

It was 73 degrees in Billings with mostly sunny skies above that layer of smoke at 2 p.m.

Around the rest of the state, our current temps are mostly to the 60s, 70s and even a few 80s.

The air quality across the western two-thirds of Montana continues to be unhealthy. The eastern half of the state is considered good to moderate air quality.

That is why they canceled the Air Quality Warning for much of eastern Montana, but it still flies until 4 p.m. for the western part of the state.

We also have an Air Quality Warning in northern Wyoming until 1:15 p.m. Saturday.

But the big story Friday is the low-pressure cell in the Pacific Ocean has finally started to move onshore, producing copious amounts of rainfall in Washington, Oregon and parts of central California.

Some of that rainfall is moving into the Great Basin area and from there it's a hop, skip and a jump to Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

In fact, a new cold front will continue to move into the region over the weekend and produce scattered rain showers for western Montana and produce possible showers for the Billings area between 6:30 and 7 p.m. Saturday.

From there, the rain moves up into Canada and high pressure moves in from the south and starts clearing out the skies for the rest of next week.

It will be 78 degrees at 6 p.m. Friday, cool back down the 60 degrees in the morning and back up to 74 degrees about 2 p.m. Saturday.

We will top out at 79 on Saturday, 75 on Sunday, keep it in the 70s through Monday and back up to 82 on Tuesday, and top it out at 86 for a high on Thursday.

BILLINGS FORECAST

TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy with areas of smoke. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph the evening shifting to the Southwest overnight. Low 57 degrees.

SATURDAY: Partly sunny with areas of smoke in the morning. Then a 30% chance for showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. West winds 10 to 20 mph. High 79 degrees.

SUNDAY: Mostly sunny, dry and mild. West winds 10 to 20 mph. High 75 degrees.