Triple-digit temperatures possible Wednesday

2014-07-23T06:21:00Z 2014-07-23T17:54:16Z Triple-digit temperatures possible WednesdayBy CHRIS CIOFFI ccioffi@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

After 733 days without a day above 100 degrees - the eighth-longest stretch in Billings history - The National Weather Service predicts temperatures could break into triple digits Wednesday.

The last time temperatures got above 100 was July 20, 2012. 

The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook, warning that high temperatures over the next few days will dry out parched grasses and other fuels, making the area at high risk for fires.

The risk of fire is exacerbated by a lack of rain. This July, only .34 inches of rain has fallen on Billings, more than .6 inches below average.

In an effort to keep fires at bay, the Yellowstone County Commissioners have imposed stage one fire restrictions, according to Yellowstone County Disaster and General Services Coordinator Duane Winslow.

All open campfires and open burning is banned, with the exception of some agricultural uses with prior permission, Winslow said.

No new burn permits will be issued until the restrictions are lifted. 

Skies will be mostly sunny and hot as highs make a run at 100 degrees Wednesday. A south wind 6 to 8 mph will become west by afternoon.

Skies will be mostly clear overnight and lows will drop near 62. An east wind of 6 to 10 mph will switch to the west southwest after midnight.

Highs will again hover near 100 degrees Thursday under sunny skies. A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms is expected Thursday afternoon. West southwest winds 8 to 13 mph will increase to between 16 and 21 mph in the afternoon.

A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms will continue Thursday evening. Skies will be mostly clear and lows will fall to 55 by nightfall. West northwest winds as high as 19 to 24 mph will drop back down to between 5 and 10 mph after midnight.

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