Again today, dry thunderstorms and gusty winds are the enemies for the Bozeman area and many counties in Montana. Fire danger is quite high in some areas.

As of Thursday morning, the AQI (Air Quality Index) for Bozeman was 79 which is MODERATE. Skies have been smokey Thursday morning, but air conditions have been fluctuating a lot in recent days. That is expected to continue.

You can check the AQI for any zip code in America by checking the AirNow.gov website. You'll see a number and a description of what that number means.

One of the most concerning elements for Thursday: Outflow wind gusts up to 50 MPH in some locations. Any new wildfires may be extremely difficult to contain.

According to the National Weather Service:

  • RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM THIS EVENING FOR DRY THUNDERSTORMS WITH GUSTY AND ERRATIC OUTFLOW WINDS FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONES 114, 116, 117, AND 118.
  • (Please see the Fire Zone Map below for further details on what areas are affected.)
  • AFFECTED AREA...Fire Weather Zones 114, 116, 117 and 118.
  • TIMING...Through 10 PM MDT this evening.
  • LIGHTNING...A mix of wet and dry thunderstorms.
  • IMPACTS...Fires can ignite quickly and easily and spread rapidly under these conditions with the increase in lightning preceded by very warm and dry conditions.
  • OUTFLOW WINDS...Gusty and erratic outflow winds up to 50 mph possible.
  • 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.