Prolonged Heat Wave Expected in Western Montana and Idaho

National Weather Service forecasts potentially record-setting temperatures ranging from the mid-90s to well above 100 near Idaho border

By Maggie Dresser
Sunset on Flathead Lake as see from Wayfarers Park in Bigfork on Feb. 20, 2020. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

A prolonged period of high temperatures ranging from the 90s to 110s will bake the entire Northern Rockies through at least July 3, with temperatures potentially reaching 109 degrees next week in western Montana, according to the National Weather Service.

A high and moderate heat risk is forecast for the Flathead Valley beginning next week, with temperatures in the mid- to upper-90s.

North-central Idaho, west-central Montana and valleys west of the Flathead Valley, including the U.S. Highway 2 corridor into Lincoln County, will be most severely impacted, with temperatures in the triple digits.

Temperatures in the Flathead and Mission valleys are forecast to range between 95 and 104 degrees.

“This is not your average heat wave,” National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Conlan said during a planning briefing on June 24. “It’s going to have exceptional longevity and it’s coming earlier in the season. It’s potentially record setting.”

In addition to extreme high temperatures, dew points will remain relatively high, with lows in the 60s and 70s in some areas.

“That’s just miserable,” Conlan said. “There’s not going to be too much relief overnight.”

After Wednesday, monsoons and thunderstorms are also possible in the Northern Rockies.

“Even if we don’t hit the forecasted temperatures, it’s going to be very hot and very dangerous,” Conlan said.

For the most updated forecast, visit www.weather.gov/mso.

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