Thursday will be warm and windy for Montana with wind gusts up to 40 MPH in some counties. Gallatin County is expecting lighter winds but temps in the upper 70s and low 80s.

Red Flag Warnings are concerning due to higher risk of wildfires. They are prompted by warm temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds. Any wildfire that might start can be incredibly difficult to control under these conditions.

According to the National Weather Service:

  • SEVERAL COUNTIES IN MONTANA HAVE A RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM THURSDAY EVENING.
  • WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Low humidity, hot temperatures, and strong gusty winds will make for dangerous conditions if fires are started. Fire behavior under these conditions is extremely unpredictable.
  • WHERE ISTHIS WARNING? In South Central MT Fire Zones 123...124...125...126...127 128...129. (please see the Fire Zone Map below for further detail on locations that are affected. Counties are listed below.)
  • COUNTIES UNDER THIS RED FLAG WARNING: In Central MT...Golden Valley...Musselshell...Wheatland. In South Central MT...Big Horn...Carbon...Park...Stillwater Sweet Grass...Yellowstone. In Southwest MT...Gallatin.
  • WIND: West 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph.
  • HUMIDITY: As low as 5 percent across the affected counties. This is extremely low.
  • TEMPERATURES: In the 80s for many counties included in this Red Flag Warning
  • WHAT DOES THIS RED FLAG WARNING MEAN: "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."

Please use extra caution when recreating in the back country while we're experiencing such warm temperatures. The nice, warm weather is expected to continue through Saturday with a cold front moving into Montana on Sunday.