BILLINGS — Partly cloudy skies are on tap in the Billings area Wednesday, but the big thing you will probably notice more than anything else is the wind and the temperature.
In the early afternoon, the temperature in Billings already climbed up to 90 degrees with winds gusting to 44 mph.
Around the rest of the state, winds are really howling like a big dog, gusting anywhere from 32 to 54 mph the last hour at Livingston.
Temperatures ranged anywhere from the 70s to 80s to even some low 90s around Billings, Jordan and Sheridan Wednesday afternoon.
We still have the Red Flag Warning with all the high winds, high temperatures and low humidity. This will cause erratic fire behavior and possibly create new fire starts in the warned area.
Right now, the Doppler radar and satellite imagery shows a few clouds streaking across south-central Montana, and most of the rain is jammed up in southern Canada. But we do have a rather strong northwesterly wind Wednesday.
The high-resolution forecast model shows part of the reason for the wind. High pressure to the Southwest is moving air into the state. A cold front moving down from Canada is pulling some of that wind back up over it, creating kind of a wind machine.
At the surface, it is rather dry, so this will be a dry cold front, so all it will really do is cool things off a little bit and kick up dust and wind.
We will warm back up a little on Friday as a stationary front becomes a warm front, and we expect temps to get into the upper 80s and low 90s.
It will be 92 degrees at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, cooling back down to the 50s Thursday morning and up to 76 degrees by 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
We will top out at 85 on Thursday, warm our way up to 95 degrees on Saturday and then roll it back down the 58 by Tuesday afternoon.
TONIGHT: Partly cloudy, windy and colder this evening. North winds 15 to 30 mph gusting to 45 mph in the evening then decreasing overnight. Low 51 degrees.
THURSDAY: Mostly sunny and not as warm. Southwest winds 5 to 15 mph. High 85 degrees.
FRIDAY: Mostly sunny and warmer. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph. High 88 degrees.