Summer is almost in our rearview mirror, meaning now we can start preparing for fall! The Autumn Equinox begins on August 22 and marks the beginning of astronomical fall. Each season is divided into three months for meteorological purposes. 

The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Career says that much of the U.S. is likely to experience warmer than normal temperatures during the Autumn Equinox from September to November. 

As of August 31, much of southwest Montana is leaning towards a 30 to 40% chance above normal temperatures. There is also an equal chance of hotter temperatures in northern Montana. While precipitation outlooks are somewhat difficult to predict, Montana has equal chances of precipitation levels for the next three months. 

Drought will persist in Montana, especially in the northern portion of the state. Drought conditions will likely develop in northeast Montana, making for fairly dry conditions for the next three months. 

For September, most of the state is predicted to experience above normal temperatures, a 60-70% chance of above normal temperatures, to be more specific. Chances of precipitation over the month are low, with about a 50% chance of precipitation throughout the month. Predictions show that September will be unusually hot and dry. 

Autumn is typically a highly transitional time for the weather, with climatic precipitation across the Great Plains and wet conditions ramping up in the northwest. Decreased sunlight and lower temperatures reduce moisture evaporation rates. Ripening crops during this time reduces the impact of short-term drought conditions.