Western US Daily Summit

Heads up, there may be fresher snow! Read the latest Western US Daily Summit

Heavy Rain for Montana, Northern Rockies


Several slow-moving areas of low pressure will meander across the West this weekend with significant moisture favoring Southern Montana and portions of the Northern Rockies where locally heavy rain is expected. Thunderstorms can also be expected across parts of the Central/Southern Rockies and Sierra while the Pacific Northwest will stay dry.

Short Term Forecast

Subtropical moisture is working its way into the Northern Rockies late this week, especially along and east of the Continental Divide. The result will be fairly widespread rain across the Bighorn and Beartooth Ranges as well as the Greater Yellowstone region with heavy rainfall rates expected at times. Localized flooding is also possible due to the combination of heavy rain and snowmelt.

Friday will be the wettest day overall, but Saturday and Sunday (and beyond) will also feature showers and thunderstorms with heavy rain potential.

Here is our 10-Day and hourly forecast for Red Lodge, Montana:

Forecast for Friday (June 2):

The mountain ranges of South Central/Southwest Montana will see the most rain on Friday, but widespread showers and thunderstorms can also be expected across much of Wyoming and Idaho, and to a lesser extent, Northern Utah and Northern Colorado. More isolated storms can be expected across New Mexico and Arizona with just a slight chance in the Sierra Nevada Range. 

Forecast for Saturday (June 3):

The focus of widespread moderate to heavy rain will shift a bit further west compared to Friday with less extreme rainfall amounts projected across Montana. But it still looks like a wet day with heavy rain possible along with some flooding risk. 

Widespread showers and thunderstorms can also be expected across Idaho with a bit of an uptick further west into Northern Nevada and the Sierra Nevada Range. Isolated to scattered thunderstorms can also be expected across the Four Corners states, with coverage favoring areas near and east of the Continental Divide in Colorado.

Forecast for Sunday (June 4):

Showers and thunderstorms will be more scattered in nature across Montana and Wyoming, and while locally heavy rain is still a possibility, overall conditions do not look as active compared to prior days. Further west, however, more widespread showers and thunderstorms can be expected across Central Idaho as another area of low pressure approaches.

Isolated to scattered thunderstorms can also be expected across the Sierra as well as the Four Corners states, with stronger storms and heavier rain expected along the eastern slopes of the Divide in Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico.

Forecast for Monday (June 5) to Tuesday (June 6):

A slow-moving area of low pressure will work its way into the Southwest during this period, with moisture and energy rotating around the low leading to additional showers and thunderstorms. across much of the West. Nearly all regions of the Rockies from New Mexico to Montana/Southern Alberta look active in this setup, while Nevada and California should see quite a bit of action as well. 

Extended Forecast

Outlook for June 7th-11th:

A stagnant pattern will continue during this period with a blocking ridge of high pressure over the plains, while areas of low pressure will slowly move into the Western U.S. on a regular basis, continuing to feed subtropical moisture into the Great Basin and Rockies where frequent shower and thunderstorm activity can be expected. The wetter signal is event trending a bit farther into the Pacific Northwest.

We will continue to see a lack of any meaningful cold fronts with above-average temperatures expected across the Northwest and Northern Rockies and up into Canada. Near to below-average temperatures are expected across California and the Southwest, partly due to the location of low pressure systems (which generally support cooler air) and also partly due to more cloud cover than is typical for this time of year. 

Thanks so much for reading! Next update on Monday (June 5)

Alan Smith


Check out these recent articles posted by OpenSnow forecasters in our News section: 

Rare Tornado Touches Down in Northeast Nevada

Nova Scotia Wildfires Impact Air Quality in the Northeast

What is a Shortwave?