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After a warm start to the week, cooler weather, rain, thunderstorms and hail are on the horizon for the Billings area and south central Montana, according to the National Weather Service in Billings.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms are predicted through the week and weekend in Billings. Wednesday has a high of 81 degrees, and should be dry in the morning, said NWS meteorologist Julie Arthur.

By Wednesday afternoon there’s a 20% chance of scattered thunderstorms and showers. There’s an overnight low of 53 with a slightly higher chance of thunderstorms, she said. 

A new weather system moving into town should cool the rest of the week down starting Thursday, Arthur said. Thursday has a forecast high of 74 and a 40% chance of scattered showers mixed with heavy rain and thunderstorms. Some of the thunderstorms may be heavy rain producing, she said.

Friday will see a high of 66 degrees and 70% chances of rain Friday afternoon and 80% chance of rain on Friday night. Saturday and Sunday will see high temperatures of 51 and 56. Saturday has a 70% chance of rain. Sunday may be drier with scattered showers in the afternoon.

Both Tuesday and Monday have a 50-50 chance of rain, both with a high of 54 degrees. About 1-3 inches of rainfall is expected in the Billings area from Thursday through Monday. 

In south central Montana and north central Wyoming a hazardous weather outlook is in effect from Thursday through early next week for thunderstorms possibly producing heavy rain, strong winds and hail. The outlook cautions against flooding streams and creeks, and the possibility of snow in the mountains, which may cause an additional rise on waterways as the snow melts. 

Late May and early June are times to start watching for flooding, she said. Flash flooding can be extremely dangerous and water levels can rise extremely quickly. 

"We're cautioning people to watch for rises in streams and creeks from the rainfall and snow melt," Arthur said. "And if you hear any thunder, go inside and pay attention to the weather forecast." 

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Night Reporter

Night reporter for The Billings Gazette.