Labor Day: Record heat followed by wind, snow

by MATT BALDWIN
Daily Inter Lake | September 4, 2020 3:00 AM

Northwest Montana is poised for a wild week of extreme weather. Near-record heat and dangerously dry conditions over the weekend will give way to raw, winter-like weather beginning Labor Day.

According to the National Weather Service in Missoula, hot and dry conditions will persist through Saturday across the Northern Rockies. Highs are expected to climb into the 90s.

A fire weather watch is in place for parts of southwest Montana due to the mix of low humidity, hot temperatures and potential wind.

“That being said, everyone should be wary of creating a spark that could result in a new fire just about anywhere in western Montana or north central Idaho, given how hot and dry conditions will be,” the Weather Service warned in its forecast discussion Friday.

A slight cool down begins Sunday before an unseasonably cold and wet weather system moves into the region.

Labor Day will be “tumultuous” with strong winds out of the east-northeast with gusts up to 50 mph possible in the Flathead Valley.

Significant wave action on Flathead Lake is likely, with potential damage to docks, boats and property along the west and southern shores.

Meanwhile, snow levels could dip to elevations as low as 5,000 feet, “and will create raw, cold, and wholly unpleasant backcountry conditions,” the Weather Service warned.

Up to 6 inches of snow could accumulate at Logan Pass in Glacier National Park. Wind chills will be in the low 20s above 6,000 feet.

More seasonal temperatures in the 70s and 80s should return by mid week.