The possibility of severe thunderstorms in southwestern Montana has forecasters nervous.

The National Weather Service in Missoula has circled an area that includes Salmon, Idaho and Hamilton and Dillon, Montana, for scattered thunderstorms today and maybe again Saturday.

The strongest storms are expected to develop from Lemhi County, Idaho north and east into southwest Montana Friday afternoon, July 14.

NOAA Advised:

  • The areas with the best chance for strong downburst winds to 60 mph include Lemhi County in Idaho and Florence, Drummond and Butte in Montana. Other areas including the Missoula and Mission Valleys could see wind gusts between 30 and 50 mph. Another threat will be lightning for outdoor events and possible new fire starts. Expect storms to develop by 1 pm MDT over Lemhi County while southwest Montana will see activity develop by 3 pm and afterwards.
  • The Ravalli County Sheriff's Office also sent out an advisory Friday cautioning the public that there might be 50 mile-per-hour winds and intense lightning.

    Take care and keep an eye to sky for developing storms. Afterwards, the forest service will be checking for possible lightning-caused fires.