THURSDAY: Red Flag Fire Weather for Montana, Dry Thunderstorms
Please, Mother Nature. No dry thunderstorms this afternoon. Unfortunately, there's a decent possibility of them popping up around southwest Montana today. The dangers of our continued hot weather are prompting a Red Flag Warning until at least Thursday night.
Montana is already battling many wildfires that have severely affected our air quality for weeks. See the map of Montana wildfires here...
It's crucial to be extra careful in the backcountry and when traveling across the state. Dry conditions with high temps, gusty winds, and low humidity are a recipe for disaster if we do get these dry thunderstorms.
According to the National Weather Service:
- WHAT: A RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO MIDNIGHT TONIGHT FOR DRY THUNDERSTORMS WITH GUSTY AND ERRATIC WINDS FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONES 116, 117, AND 118.
- (See the Fire Zone Map below for specific locations of the Montana zones)
- WHERE: Lincoln Ranger District of the Helena National Forest, Central and Eastern Lewis and Clark National Forest Areas, and Helena and Townsend Ranger Districts of the Helena National Forest.
- WHAT TO EXPECT: THUNDERSTORMS...Storms will begin to push into Southwestern Montana from Idaho by the late morning and early afternoon hours today, heading northeast into Central Montana by the mid-afternoon or early evening.
- Storms are initially expected to be dry this afternoon, before becoming wetter by the evening hours.
- WINDS: Southwest 10 to 15 mph, with gusts up to 30 mph.
- HUMIDITY: As low as 15 percent.
- WHAT MAY HAPPEN: Lightning in and near thunderstorms may cause new fire starts. In addition, gusty outflow winds may cause existing fires to exhibit erratic behavior.
- A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.