Weather next week could help cool blazes

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A great horned owl perches on a branch in Glacier National Park as its surrounded by smoke at dusk recently.

There looks to be hope on the horizon in the long range weather forecast that could stymie the fires plaguing Northwest Montana and Glacier National Park.

But there promises to be some wind before it arrives. Thunderstorms were initially predicted for this evening (Friday) in Northwest Montana, but that chance appears to be diminishing, said National Weather Service meteorologist Leeann Allegretto.

She said thunderstorms, if they do develop, will likely be south of Interstate 90.

Southwest winds are expected to pick up tomorrow, starting about 10 a.m., which should increase fire activity. Sunday and Monday will also be windy and dry as well.

But in the longer term, a wet system is expected to arrive as early as Wednesday of next week. It will mean the best of chance of rain in two months, she said, with a chance of snow above 7,000 feet.

Snow, even at low amounts, squashes wildfires.

Allegretto called it a “season slowing event.”

The region has seen virtually no rain since the end of June.

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