A weak storm system will give us an enhanced thunder threat today. Chances for severe weather are moderate around Butte and Bozeman. There is an isolated chance in Southwest Montana for storm cells that produce gusty winds and small hail in addition to lightning.
A weak front will sweep across the western half of the state through Friday afternoon into Saturday morning. Moisture remains highest around Southwest Montana, so this is where you can expect the most storm activity. Gusty winds and small hail will accompany lightning with the strongest cells this evening. Storm coverage will extend north towards the Missoula area, with sunnier conditions the farther northwest you travel.
A couple of waves of storms are possible, with impact across most of Southwest Montana coming during mid-evening. Bozeman could see a storm or two during mid-afternoon as well. Little impact is expected around Missoula and Kalispell, so it should be a rather nice day in those areas.
Winds will gust 15 to 20 miles per hour during the afternoon in places, even without a thunderstorm nearby. The best spots to see breezy conditions will be across Northwest Montana and the Missoula area. Unfortunately, this means another breezy day for the Thompson River Complex, burning near Thompson Falls.
Temperatures will reach the mid to upper 80s around the region. These cooler temperatures will continue into Saturday. Lows tonight will dip into the low 50s and upper 40s.