Cooler weather expected over the weekend

2014-07-24T06:41:00Z 2014-07-25T10:42:05Z Cooler weather expected over the weekendBy CHRIS CIOFFI ccioffi@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

A strong cold front moving across the Billings region Thursday should cool temperatures over the weekend, but will create favorable conditions for strong, isolated thunderstorms Thursday. 

The National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for Thursday, warning lightning from possible severe weather could create fires in dry grasses and other fuels which have been drying in dry hot weather.

Residents should be vigilant and take measures to mitigate risk, the warning said.

Stage one fire restrictions have been issued by the Yellowstone County Commissioners, which means all open campfires and open burning is banned. The only exception is for some agricultural uses, but that requires prior permission.

Highs will reach 98 Thursday in Billings. Skies will be mostly sunny and hot. A west southwest wind of 10 to 20 mph is expected. 

Winds will increase to between 18 and 23 mph Thursday evening. Lows will fall to 56, and skies will remain mostly clear.  

A much cooler day is expected Friday. Highs will reach 85 and west winds blowing between 9 and 14 mph will increase to between 15 and 20 mph by afternoon.

Skies will be mostly clear Friday evening as lows fall to 57. A west northwest wind 7 to 17 mph is expected.

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