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.

March 1 Snow Water Equivalent Percentage of Basin Normal
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

Snowpack conditions were a mixed bag last month. Western Montana’s basins are in the best shape, while some eastern Montana basins are lagging far behind.

Montana Snowtel Current Snow Water Equivalent % of Normal

Mother Nature threw a lot of weather at Montana in January, but too little of it came in the form of snow. That’s the assessment of the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Bozeman which reports that snowpack is lagging in most of our river basins.

Current Snow Water Equivalent Basin Percentage of Normal - January 01, 2016
Courtesy USDA NRCS

There’s a lot riding on how much precipitation Montana gets this winter and spring. So far, it’s a mixed bag. December’s snowfall helped shore up mountain snowpack in Montana’s southern basins, but some northern basins remain below normal.

Freezing rain could create dangerous driving conditions Friday morning in parts of western Montana.
National Weather Service, Missoula, MT.

Freezing rain could create dangerous driving conditions Friday morning in parts of western Montana. National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Kitzmiller says light to moderate snow will move in later tonight bringing another 1 to 2 inches to many valleys.

Widespread Valley Snow Headed To Western Montana

Dec 15, 2015
National Weather Service, Missoula, MT

A weather system moving south out of Canada will bring widespread valley and mountain snow to western Montana starting late tonight and lasting through the day Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service Missoula. The timing of the heaviest snow impacts is depicted in this image. Generally 2-5” of snow are expected for valley locations, with 4-6” of snow in the mountains and over mountain passes. Those with travel plans should expected widespread stretches of slick/snow covered roadways.

Wind, Flooding Problems Across Western Montana

Dec 9, 2015
National Weather Service Missoula, MT

Severe wind and flooding was reported from all across the western parts of the state today. Helena seemed to be hit the hardest with wind.

Flood Watch For Flathead County

Dec 7, 2015
Infrared satellite view of the U.S.

There’s a flood watch in effect from now until Wednesday for Flathead County in its western, northern, and eastern parts. County Emergency Planner Nikki Stephan says the valley floor isn’t expected to be as impacted as the higher elevation areas, which could potentially see up to 6 inches of total rainfall.

Rainy, Windy Week Ahead For Western Montana

Dec 7, 2015
Rainy Week Ahead
National Weather Service Missoula, MT

Via National Weather Service Missoula, MT: A steady stream of precipitation will punch into the Northern Rockies through the day Wednesday, causing moderate to heavy rainfall to impact north central Idaho and western Montana. Several inches of rain will accumulate during this time, causing various impacts:

 Health Effects Category by Air Monitoring Station Based on Average Measured Concentrations of Particulate Matter 2.5 As Of Hour Ending 3:00 PM MST on 12/1/2015
Montana DEQ

Recent cold temperatures mean Missoula’s now teetering on the edge of violating federal air quality standards. Inversions have trapped cold, dirty air in the Missoula valley for almost a week.