Heat hitting area during Great Northern Fair
Last updated 7/16/2021 at 12:08pm
Visitors to the Great Northern Fair this weekend should take precautions — because it’s going to be hot. Very hot.
According to the National Weather Service in Great Falls, Havre will be under an Excessive Heat Watch starting Sunday, and lasting into the middle part of next week. The watch states that afternoon temperatures could be record-breaking, climbing to as high as 105 degrees.
Even before Sunday, however Havre will be toasty, with today’s high forecast at 97, followed by 100 on Saturday and 101 on Sunday. Temperatures could feel even hotter as plenty of sunshine is predicted over the weekend, while there is a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms tonight.
To be prepared for the heat, people should drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Fairgoers should make sure and drink plenty of fluids and limit time in the sun.
Air quality could also be an issue over the weekend, and into next week. According to the NWS Montana, including the Havre area, will continue to see periods of forest fire smoke, as winds funnel in smoke from large fires in Southern Idaho, as well as Oregon. Meanwhile, fire season continues to ramp up in Montana, as well. There are several fires continuing to burn, and a large fire in the Little Belt Mountains continues to grow. For the Havre area, NWS is calling for periods of smoke and haze this afternoon.
The longterm forecast for warmer than average temperatures continues as well.
The Excessive Heat Watch is in effect from Sunday morning to Wednesday morning, with Monday’s high predicted to be 104, and both Tuesday and Wednesday calling for highs of 97 degrees. Farther out, The Weather Channel shows Havre staying above 90 degrees every day through July 29, with most predicted highs above 95 degrees. This weekend’s forecast is already the third such heatwave to hit Montana, as temperatures climbed above 100 for two days in early June, followed by another round of extreme heat at the close of last month.
Above-average warmth is likely to continue.
According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for the months of August, September and October, much of Montana, including the Havre area, has a 50 percent chance of above average temperatures and 50 percent probability of below average precipitation, which isn’t good for an already-parched area. According to Arin Peters of NWS in Great Falls, Havre has received just .61 inches of rain since June 1, where as the normal precipitation for that timeframe is 3.38 inches. Havre has seen just one day of rain so far this month, and it amounted to just .004 inches. Those figures have prompted NWS to list Hill County as moderate to severe drought, and Peters said that could worsen as there is very little moisture forecast for the next 15 days.