Billings, Montana

I say it all the time, but Billings and the high Plains are the toughest part of the country to forecast for. Let’s try our luck today, shall we?

At 1153PM, MT, Billings was reporting a temperature of 73 degrees with clear skies. Eastern Montana was clear for the night, and under the influence of a fairly table upper level pattern.
Despite the ridging across the northern High Plains, there is a bit of a jet maximum over the northern Rockies, inducing some lee troughing across the region. As it has the last couple of days, this feature is expected to generate more isolated afternoon showers and storms, though most of the activity will hug the mountains. The greatest threat for Billings is that the storms will touch off wildfires that impact Billings’ air quality. A deeper trough providing the southwesterly jet streak will begin to shift east through the period. As there will be an increase in upper level vorticity, there will be an additional increase in surface cyclogenesis by Thursday. As a result, don’t be surprised to see storms get nearer to Billings, though the threat for any actual precipitation in the area will remain low, as the surface will be quite dry.  That southwesterly flow will ensure it gets quite warm during the afternoon.
Tomorrow – Partly cloudy – High 97, Low 64
Thursday – Mostly cloudy, with a dry thunderstorm possible, High 95, Low 66

TWC: Tomorrow – Sunshine along with some cloudy intervals. High 100, Low 64
Thursday – Mostly cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy in the afternoon. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible High 96, Low 66

AW: Tomorrow – Hot with the temperature approaching the record of 101 set in 1955 with clouds and sun High 98, Low 63
Thursday – Hot with partial sunshine; a thunderstorm in spots in the afternoon High 94, Low 63

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny and hot, High 94, Low 62
Thursday – A slight chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after noon. Mostly sunny and hot High 94, Low 63

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 96, Low 65
Thursday – Mostly sunny. Slight chance of showers in the morning, then slight chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 93, Low 67

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy, High 97, Low 63
Thursday – Partly cloudy with isolated showers. High 95, Low 63

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy throughout the day. High 99, Low 63
Thursday – Drizzle starting in the evening.High 97, Low 64

Hot! It’s interesting to me to see how different the various forecasts are. I am looking closely at the short range temperature forecast, as everything else (like what the NWS used earlier in the evening) is trending too cool.  Here is a pretty relaxed satellite image of Montana.