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Entries in red flag warnings (5)


Red flag warning for critical fire weather in Western MT today

NWS graphic showing red flag warnings in pink(MISSOULA)- The National Weather Service is warning of critical fire weather conditions in much of Western Montana this afternoon and evening, issuing a "red flag" warning from noon until 9 p.m.

NWS forecasters are expecting gusty winds to develop as high pressure over the region begins to break down in advance of a cold front that will push into the area through Saturday morning. Winds of 10-to-20 miles per hour, with frequent gusts to 30 miles per hour are expected for the East Lolo, Bitterroot, Deerlodge/West Beaverhead and East Beaverhead.

The winds aren't the only problem. Temperatures are expected to be up into the 90s again today with humidities running as low as 5-to-14%. That's expected to bring a sharp increase in the potential for fire starts, and also make existing fires more active. 


Strong winds forecast, red flag warnings posted for Flathead A shift to more fall-like weather will give areas west of the Divide a final shot of summer-like fire danger as conditions change on Monday.

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning from noon until midnight Monday for gusty winds and low humidities across the Flathead and into Glacier National Park. Westerly winds of 15 to 25-miles per hour, with some gusts up to 35 are expected to start developing in the higher elevations around mid-day Monday, peaking in the later evening hours. 

Forecasters say some of the ridge tops in the park could see winds gusting 40-to-45 miles per hour. 

The big concern is for the combination of the winds, and low humidity, which could run as low as 20% until sometime overnight, increasing the risk of fire starts. 

The warnings cover the Flathead and west side of Glacier, extending down the east side of Flathead Lake into the Mission Range, as well as the Seeley-Swan and western edge of the Bob Marshall. 

A high wind watch is posted for the Rocky Mountain Front and eastern areas of the park and the Bob. 

Gusty winds are expected through most of Western Montana as the weather pattern changes going into Tuesday, with choppy conditions on Flathead Lake, as well as McDonald and other lakes on the west side of Glacier. 


Fire crews across the region brace for red flag fire conditions

NWS graphic(MISSOULA)- A combination of extremely dry conditions, low humdity and high winds in the forecast have firefighters across the region bracing for extreme fire conditions through this evening. 

An approaching front moving over the Northern Rockies is expected to bring a definite turn to fall weather conditions, with temperatures Monday and Tuesday as much as 20-to-25 degrees colder than Saturday's highs. That will eventually squelch much of the fire activity.

But before then, the front could generate winds gusting 25-miles per hour per more across many of the active fire areas in the state. 

Red flag warnings have been issued for the Bitterroot, Upper Clark Fork Valley, the Rocky Mountain Front and most areas east of the Divide through 9 p.m. this evening. National Weather Service forecasters are also warning there's a chance of thunderstorms that could spark new fires because of the dry timber and brush. 

In addition to the fire danger, the incoming system is expected to create dangerous winds in the higher elevations of Glacier National Park and downslope along the Rocky Mountain Front. Winds could gust 40-to-60 miles per hour over Logan Pass.


Gusty winds pose fire threat, dangers for boaters

NWS graphic(MISSOULA)- The National Weather Service is warning of a higher fire risk in some areas, and dangerous conditions for boaters as a cold front tracks across Idaho and Western Montana. 

NWS forecasters say scattered showers and thunderstorms will continue across Northwest Montana early today, with that weather pushing into Canada later this morning. A trough of low pressure that's currently along the Washington-Canadian border will push east across the region, bringing a cold front that will cool temperatures but also generate gusty winds.

Winds on Flathead Lake, and especially along the eastern shoreline, are expected to blow at a sustained 15 to 20 mph with some gusts of 30-to-40 mph from late morning into the afternoon. East of the Divide, red flag warnings have been posted for the Rocky Mountain Front and Great Falls region because of the winds combining with low humidity to increase the risk of wildfire. 

Forecasters say there's enough moisture streaming in from the south to generate thunderstorms over the Lemhi-Salmon country of Eastern Idaho, pushing into the Beaverhead and southern reaches of the Bitterroot Range, as well as the Big Hole, Anaconda-Pintlar Range and east to Butte. 

That cold front will make Tuesday the coolest day of the week, with highs near seasonal normals in the low to mid-80s. 

NWS is expecting conditions to dry and out and warm up again later this week, with highs back into the low to mid 90s in advance of more thunderstorms Friday. 


Red flag warnings up for most of the state

(MISSOULA)- The weather maps are almost all pink this afternoon, as National Weather Service forecasters issue red flag warnings for almost the entire state of Montana.

An upper level disturbance that began moving into the region this morning has already sparked some isolated thunderstorms and more are expected in the coming hours as the warm, unstable air creates perfect conditions for more storms. Unfortunately, there’s no much moisture involved, so the primary potential is for dry thunderstorms and gusty winds.

And that’s perfect for starting fires, or creating more problems with the thousands of acres already on fire, especially in Western Montana.

The red flag warnings have been posted for all but Northwest Montana and will remain in effect until midnight. In addition to winds that could gust up to 35-miles per hour, humidity is running very low, down in the 15% to 20% range which also increases the risk of wildfire.