WESTERN MONTANA - Monday is going to feel like Summer with dry, warm, and windy weather.
Winds will be strongest between the divide and Missoula, Kalispell, and Salmon areas. Winds there will reach 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph from the lunch hour through mid afternoon. The rest of the region will see wind gusts to 20 mph during the afternoon. Temperatures will reach between the mid 70s and 80 degrees.
Vegetation has dried out so much in the past few weeks that the Helena Valley is under a Red Flag Warning on Monday afternoon because the wind and low humidity are increasing the fire danger there. A wildfire already popped up in the area on Sunday.
The storm system that will produce these strong winds will keep most of it's moisture north of the Canadian Border. We will see plenty of sunshine today with increasing clouds through the afternoon. Although slim, there is a chance for some small corners of the state to see some rain.
Northwest Montana will have a small window for shower development in the early afternoon as a band of moisture moves overhead. Most of the shower development from this system will be along the Hi-Line in Central and Eastern Montana during late afternoon. There is a slight chance of a shower and isolated thunderstorm around Southwest Montana, limited to south of Bozeman along the Wyoming state line. These showers will develop later in the day and head east through the evening.
Through the first week of June, most of us have increased our rainfall deficit during what is traditionally the two wettest months of the year. The Gallatin Valley is a bright spot, with just over an inch of rain during the first week in June eating into the deficit from May. Remember than in May most of the region only got half of the average rainfall for the month. Much of the region continues to fall behind. Missoula has only 3 one-hundreths of a inch of moisture over the first 8 days of June. There is a chance that we may eat into that deficit a little bit later this week.
Another system digs into Montana right behind today's storm in Canada. Showers will begin late Tuesday. Forecast models continue to show the majority of the precipitation falling in Central Montana. Don't expect rainfall more than a tenth of an inch between Tuesday and Wednesday. The real chance for showers will be late this week.