Very dry conditions, gusty winds up to 40 MPH, and the chance of lightning storms have created dangerous fire conditions across all of western Montana on Friday. Any wildfires that start today will be difficult to contain, so Red Flag Warnings have been issued across the western counties.
Wildfire smoke from Canada, and the smoke from fires within Montana dropped the Air Quality Index (AQI) in parts of Montana by dozens of points on Wednesday. Thursday isn't looking too promising either with Air Quality Alerts and Heat Advisories in effect for large portions of the state.
The cycle of warmer temperatures and afternoon showers and thunderstorms are prompting many Flood Watches across central Montana. Creeks, streams, and rivers are all at risk of flooding on Wednesday - travelers and recreationists are urged to use caution.
Keep vigilant this afternoon as storm cells move into the area again with over an inch of rain possible in some locations of southwest Montana including Gallatin County. Hail and gusty winds are expected along with these storms.
With more heavy rains expected from Bozeman to Forsyth, city drainages along with rural creeks and streams are in danger of flooding through at least Friday night. Keep a keen eye on storm drains within city limits, as flooding/deep pooling can happen quickly.