River levels in Billings Thursday have stabilized since Wednesday and partly sunny skies with highs in the 70s will slow snow melt in higher altitudes, but an afternoon thunderstorm could add to runoff flowing into rivers.
The United States Geological Survey gauge station on the Yellowstone River in Billings measured the river's depth at 12.34 feet at 5 a.m., Thursday morning.
Wednesday afternoon the height was 12.38 feet, but National Weather Service officials expect levels to spike upward Friday as snow melt from Wednesday's warm weather makes its way to Billings.
The prediction for the river's height Friday has been revised from 13.2 feet to 13.1 feet.
Flood stage is 13.5 feet.
The NWS has also issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook, warning scattered showers and thunderstorms may occur in the Billings area Thursday afternoon or evening. More severe showers or thunderstorms are forecast east of Billings between Broadus and Miles City.
The threat of thunderstorms and severe rain events will continue into early next week, the warning said.
Skies will be partly sunny Thursday as highs reach 76. A 20 percent of showers or thunderstorms is expected after noon, and northwest winds of 10 to 13 mph will shift to the north northeast by afternoon.
A chance for showers will continue into the evening, and skies will become mostly cloudy as lows fall to near 50. Winds from the east northeast will blow from 7 to 14 mph.
Temperatures will hold in the upper 70s Friday and skies will be partly sunny. A 20 percent chance of showers or a thunderstorm is expected after noon, and east winds between 7 and 13 mph are likely.
Overnight Friday, the chance for showers and thunderstorms will increase to 40 percent. Skies will be mostly cloudy and lows will fall to 54 mph. East winds of 6 to 13 mph are expected.