MTPR

Natural Resource Conservation Service

If this doesn't look familiar, you probably don't live in Montana
Nicky Ouellet / Montana Public Radio

  (Editor's note: This story was updated on Friday, March 9th. Details are noted at the bottom of this post)

Montana’s snowpack was well above average during December and January.

That’s according to the latest statewide water supply report from the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Bozeman office.

So did the good news continue in February?

A ski trail near Seeley Lake, MT, January 2018.
Eric Whitney

Montana’s first winter snowpack report is out and so far, so very good. There’s still plenty of winter ahead of us, but the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Bozeman says Montana’s snowpack is off to a great start.

Snow-water equivalent basin percentage of normal.
USDA NRCS

Montana’s snowpack is basically as good as it’s going to get this spring. That’s normal for early June. But what’s not so normal, according to Lucas Zukiewicz, is how quickly it’s melting off.

Montana Snow Water Equivalent Basin Percentage of Normal, May 2016
USDA NRCS

The recent sunny, warm weather is taking a toll on Montana’s mountain snowpack.  The Natural Resources Conservation Service says our snowpack peaked in early April. According to water supply specialist Lucas Zukiewicz, that’s one to two weeks ahead of normal.

March Precipitation Improves Montana's Streamflow Outlook
Courtesy NRCS Montana

Good rain and snow last month improved the streamflow outlook for most of Montana’s river basins. That’s according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Bozeman. NRCS Water Supply Specialist Lucas Zukiewicz says this year’s snowpack and streamflow forecasts are generally much better than this time last year.

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