I'm typing this while listening to the sounds of pea-sized hail, pouring rain, wind, and cracks of thunder rumble through my neighborhood in Laurel, as the Billings area receives our first thunderstorm of the 2023 season. A sure sign of spring. Weatherbug.com's lightning tracker reveals tons of strikes in the area around 4 pm Tuesday.

Credit: Weatherbug.com
Credit: Weatherbug.com

A fast-moving storm.

This spring thunderstorm passed thru in about 20 minutes, dumping a fair amount of hail and rain in the process. One crack of thunder was quite close to my house, startling the dogs, the kids, and even me, as I embarrassingly jumped a bit at the loud boom that rattled the house.

While thunderstorms can occur year-round in Montana, they are rare in the winter months, because there is typically not enough moisture and necessary temperatures in the air to create the right conditions.

Michael Foth, TSM
Aw, hail. Michael Foth, TSM

Last week, my kids wanted to put up the pool.

Remember when we were pushing 80 last week? Yeah... that was nice. But it's obviously not summer yet and while the garden shops and nurseries are doing their best to convince you to buy seeds and plant plants, we're still a few weeks away from our traditional last frost of the year (usually around May 15). Now is probably a good time to start seedlings indoors, however.

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Josh Rath, TSM
Looks a little thundery in those clouds. Josh Rath, TSM

Cooler and wet the rest of the week.

According to the National Weather Service - Billings, we can expect a mixed bag of rain, snow, wind, and sun for the next few days. Snow accumulation will likely be minimal overnights, and daytime highs will be in the mid 40's through Friday. Dryer and slightly warmer weather are headed our way by Saturday with highs back into the mid-50s/low-60s for the weekend.

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