An early summer heat wave is headed towards western Montana with temperatures well into the 100 degree range within the next few days.

KGVO spoke to Senior Meteorologist Bob Nester at the National Weather Service early Wednesday morning about the strong high pressure system headed our way.

“After today, a pretty strong ridge of high pressure starts to build in the Pacific Northwest, and by this weekend high pressure starts to move more over the Northern Rockies and it's a very strong ridge, something we haven't seen too often as far as the strength of the ridge,” said Nester. “What's going to happen is we're going to have a gradual increase in temperatures this weekend into the lower to mid 90s in Missoula both Saturday and Sunday.”

Nester said the possibly record breaking hot days will occur early next week.

“Next week, the (high pressure) ridge strengthens even further and we can expect temperatures next week of 95 degrees and above and it's quite possible we reached the 100 degree mark to three those days next week, specifically Monday through Wednesday,” he said.

Nester said the hot temperatures could possibly be new record highs.

“There could be near record temperatures, and certain things will depend if we hit them or not,” he said. “If we have cloud cover or something like that maybe we're only at 98 instead of 101, but nevertheless, we're going to have a prolonged stretch this weekend through most of next week. And another fact about this is that the overnight low temperatures will only be in the 60s.”

Nester looked back at other periods of extended hot weather in recent years.

“We haven't had one of these stretches of hot weather since 2017, and another notable year was 2015,” he said. “I think as we all remember that 2007 was pretty rare event to have these hot temperatures late in June and early July.”

Temperatures by Monday and Tuesday are forecast in the low 100 degree range, with lows only in the mid to upper 60’s.

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