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Strong thunderstorms, heavy rain and rising river levels through Saturday

BOZEMAN – The weather forecast will become very complex for the rest of the week. A deep trough of Low pressure is currently hitting the West coast while a weakening High-pressure ridge is over the central and northern Rockies.

A SW flow aloft will keep the chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms alive Wednesday afternoon and evening. Most thunderstorms should be on the weaker side producing brief heavy rain, small hail, frequent lightning, and gusty winds.

Thursday afternoon the atmosphere will become very unstable and a much better chance for stronger thunderstorms to develop from Missoula to Butte to Bozeman to Billings.

The Storm Prediction Center has a marginal risk for a few strong to severe thunderstorms Thursday afternoon.

THE NEXT WEATHER MAKER:

The next weather maker will be a slow-moving upper-level Low Thursday evening through Saturday morning. This storm will likely produce areas of moderate to heavy rainfall. Some forecast models are estimating a half an inch to 2 inches of rain is possible Friday.

There is a concern with melting mountain snowpack and heavy rainfall in the forecast that river levels across SW Montana could reach “Action” stage or even “Minor” flood stage by this weekend. At this time there are no flood highlights issued by the National Weather Service for SW Montana but that could change in the next day or two.

WATCH RIVER LEVELS:

City by City Forecast:

BOZEMAN: LOW: 47°; HIGH THURSDAY: 68°. Showers and thunderstorms possible this evening. Thursday look for stronger thunderstorms by afternoon. Some storms could produce brief heavy rain, small hail, gusty winds, and frequent lightning.

BUTTE: LOW: 43°; HIGH THURSDAY: 67°. Isolated showers and weak thunderstorms are possible up to midnight. Thursday there could be stronger thunderstorms in the afternoon. Some storms could produce brief heavy rain, small hail, gusty winds, and frequent lightning.

DILLON: LOW: 45°; HIGH THURSDAY: 70°. Isolated showers and thunderstorms through sunset tonight. Thursday there could be stronger thunderstorms in the afternoon. Some storms could produce brief heavy rain, small hail, gusty winds, and frequent lightning.

WEST YELLOWSTONE: LOW: 37°; HIGH THURSDAY: 65°. Scattered showers and a few isolated thunderstorms this evening. Thursday afternoon look for scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms.

Mike Heard

Mike Heard

Chief Meteorologist KBZK & KXLF
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