The National Weather Service is warning that extremely hot weather with temperatures in the mid to upper 90’s is expected next week, along with a chance of accompanying thunderstorms.

Meteorologist Brian Conlin described the conditions that will affect western Montana for the weekend into early next week.

“We’ve just come out of a semi-active pattern and we’re going to have ridge start to build in over the weekend,” said Conlin. “That will start towards the end of Sunday and will be strongest on Monday and Tuesday. That’s the day that we’re looking for the highest temperatures. For here in Missoula, we’re looking for around 96 to 97 degrees.”

Conlin said the extreme heat will also spawn some afternoon thunderstorms that may contain lightning.

“We’re giving it a moderate chance for both Monday and Tuesday,” he said. “For Monday, mostly because it’s going to be drier and warmer,” he said. “On Tuesday, we’re factoring in the lightning that will accompany those showers. It is going to be warmer on Tuesday and then we’re going to have the lightning, but there probably won’t be much moisture with it, but there will be the instability for the showers and lightning.”

In the devastating fire season of 2017, fire officials said the wild card was lightning, because there was no way to forecast how much lightning would accompany thunderstorms, or where the lightning might strike.

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