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Q2 Weather: Truly fire and ice in Montana this weekend

Posted at 3:10 PM, Jan 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-31 17:10:38-05

BILLINGS — It turned out to be a beautiful Friday in Billings. The only issue: It's a little on the windy side.

The early afternoon temperature in Billings was 55 degrees with winds gusting to 37 mph.

Around the rest of the state, the temperatures were mostly to the 30s and 40s, although we do see some 50s at Cut Bank, Billings and Sheridan.

We have for the first time this year, a Red Flag Warning for the Hi-Line. There, winds gusting to 75 mph and low humidity will cause critical fire weather danger from 8 a.m. Saturday to 11 p.m. Saturday. If a fire gets going, it could burn out of control and hurry.

On the other side of the coin, we have a Winter Storm Watch in the Beartooth and Bighorn mountains. Snow amounts could range from 10 to 20 inches in the Beartooths to 6 to 12 inches of snow in the Bighorns, Sunday morning through Monday evening.

Right now, the Doppler radar and satellite imagery shows most of the rain and snow continues to be jammed up in the northwest and along the Hi-Line of Montana.

The high-resolution forecast model shows we could see a few spotty sprinkles in the Billings area later Friday afternoon, but most of the rain and snow continue to go around the Billings area on Friday.

Then on Saturday, a new batch of snow will start moving into the west-central part of the state around Missoula in the evening. It will spread into the Billings area by Sunday morning and stay there into the afternoon.

Snowfall amounts could be around 1 to 2 inches for Billings on Sunday morning. However, for the rest of Friday. Our temps will top out at 55 degrees, next hour then roll back down to the 40s at midnight and back up into the 50s, Saturday afternoon.

We will top out at 64 degrees and break a record on Saturday, the temps will then roll back down to the 20s by Monday and Tuesday and back to 45 degrees for the high on Thursday.

BILLINGS FORECAST

TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy, windy and warmer. Southwest winds 15 to 30 mph gusting to 40 mph overnight. Low 39 degrees.

SATURDAY: Mostly sunny, windy and much warmer. Southwest winds 20 to 35 mph gusting to 45 mph. With a possible new record. The old record is 62° setback in 1935. We could top out at 64 degrees.

SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy with an 80% chance of accumulating snow and much colder. North winds 5 to 15 mph. High 41 degrees.