NBC Montana’s First Alert Weather Team is tracking a heat wave that’s expected to bring increased temperatures to western Montana starting this Thursday and into the foreseeable future according to our own First Alert Chief Meteorologist Mark Heyka. 

We spent the afternoon talking to people about how they are prepping for these increased temperatures and how they plan to spend the hot days.

Missoula resident Garret McNeill tells us it’s thrilled for warmer weather.

“It's going to be great weather for the rodeo we're having tomorrow so I'm excited for it,” he said.  “Good weather means good things.”

Missoula resident Jaydee Page agrees that it will be nice to see a change in the weather, but he said there can be some drawbacks to warmer temperatures.

“It's going to be nice to get out of the rain but at the same time I'm working outside on a roof so it'll be a little hot and uncomfortable I’m sure,” said Page. 

First Alert Meteorologist Mark Heyka says folks should brace themselves for record breaking temperatures. 

“The last time we had a prolonged heat wave it was in 2007 and it was a historic heat wave and Missoula set its all time record high at 107 degrees,” said Heyka.  “I believe we topped 100 at least 10 possibly 12 times that year.”

We spoke to Sid Bailey, a sales manager at ACE Hardware, who tells us on the first hot day of the summer they always get a rush of folks looking for the perfect fan, air conditioner and/or floating tube.

“Rafts, we do many rafts and we had to up-the-order this year because last year we ran out of a few,” said Bailey.  “A lot of people wait until the last minute and it's one of those things people go 'oh we'll be okay,' and then all of a sudden it's 100 degrees outside and they don't have a fan.”

Bailey says he thinks it’s important to prep for increasing temperatures before they hit, so he encourages folks who may still need a fan or air conditioner to buy one sooner than later. 

“Stay hydrated, put on sun block, wear light colored and light weight cotton clothes and just take it easy,” said Heyka. 

And that is exactly what Missoula resident Jaydee Page tells NBC Montana he plans to do.

“This weekend I'm definitely going floating,” said Page.  “I’ve just got to get out in the water a little bit.”

If you're planning on heading out to the river this weekend be careful Meteorologist Mark Heyka warns of cold and fast-moving water.

For a full weather report click here or click on the ‘Severe Weather’ link at NBCMontana.com.