MTPR

snowpack

Flooding in Missoula along the north end of Tower Street, May 7, 2018.
Josh Burnham

This year’s record snowpack is rapidly melting, and it started earlier than normal.

Flooding along Rock Creek, a tributary of the Clark Fork River, near Clinton, MT, June 4, 2017.
Josh Burnham

An advisory council to the governor is considering a change to Montana's law on predicting drought conditions, following the historic 2017 fire season that caught state officials by surprise.

This time last year, Governor Steve Bullock’s Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee did not expect drought to be an issue for Montana in the warmer months of 2017. The committee sent their annual report to the governor last April when streamflows were high and spring rain was falling.

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?

Fire experts are predicting a slower than normal start to wildfire season in Montana this year, but by July and August the potential jumps up to normal, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
National Interagency Fire Center, Boise, Idaho.

Fire experts are predicting a slower-than-normal start to wildfire season in Montana this year, according to a Northern Rockies fire season outlook released Monday afternoon.

Western Montana sub-basin snow water equivalent.
USDA NRCS

Most of Montana’s high elevation snowpack is looking good. Montana entered April on relatively steady footing when it comes to our snowpack levels. The latest water supply outlook from the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Bozeman notes new snowfall bolstered snowpack during March’s first two weeks.

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