Today may be the last day this year for sandals in the Helena area. By Tuesday afternoon, it’ll be time to break out the snow boots, and accompanying shovels.

The high Monday will be about 76 degrees. Warm and dry weather with gusty winds have officials enacting a Red Flag warning due to increased fire danger. The winds may increase the smoke in the Helena Valley as well.

Tuesday will start with temperatures in the low 60s and then drop down substantially.

“Things will really cool off,” said Nick Langlieb, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Great Falls.

When the cold front arrives Tuesday, it should help clear out much of the smoke coming to Helena from fires in Idaho. By Tuesday night, the area will see a mix of rain and snow.

Wednesday’s forecast calls for more rain with snow in the evening and night. The low that night will be about 30 degrees, Langlieb said. Any accumulation will be less than a half inch in town.

Most of the precipitation will be confined to the Rocky Mountain Front and therefore will not make it to Idaho, where wildfires are causing much of the smoke locally, Langlieb said.

The cooling trend will continue throughout the week with highs in the low 50s through next weekend.

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