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Winter Storm Headed To Western Montana

Dec 1, 2016
National Weather Service headquarters in Missoula, Montana.
Josh Burnham

There’s a winter storm headed towards western Montana, and it’s expected to begin with a cold front Saturday night.

Dozens of fires burning in the Rocky Mountains in Montana were detected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on the afternoon of August 19, 2003. In the image, fire locations have been marked in yellow. The fi
Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Last week a senior advisor to President-elect Trump said funding for NASA Earth sciences work should be cut dramatically, or just ended. Former Pennsylvania Congressman Robert Walker made those comments in the Guardian newspaper.

For perspective on what that would mean, Amy Martin talked to the chairman of the Earth Science Subcommittee for NASA’s Advisory Council. The chairman is Steve Running, who is a regent’s professor of ecology at the University of Montana. She asked Running if big cuts to NASA Earth sciences have been proposed in the past.

The National Weather Service is predicting freezing temperatures in western Montana Tuesday.
National Weather Service

Western Montana crops are vulnerable to potential freeze damage tonight.

A Red Flag Fire Weather Warning is posted for Tuesday afternoon for most of northwest and west-central Montana.
National Weather Service Missoula

A Red Flag Fire Weather Warning is posted for Tuesday afternoon for most of northwest and west-central Montana.

A snapshot of today's air quality by health effects category.
Montana DEQ

A new 500-acre prescribed burn in Idaho is pumping lots of smoke into Montana. The National Weather Service in Missoula says it may take a little while for the smoke from the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests to clear out.

Montana's Current Water Supply and Moisture Conditions by County
Montana DNRC

Montana’s fire season has been ‘pretty benign’ so far and it’s not expected to get much worse. That’s how Harold Gemmell characterized it today to the Governor’s Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee.

A Red Flag warning is posted for the entire region from noon to 9:00 p.m. August 2, 2016.
Josh Burnham

The last thing western Montana firefighters need now is more hot, dry, windy weather. And yet that’s exactly what they’re going to get tomorrow as a cold front moves into western Montana. A red flag warning is posted for the entire region from noon to 9:00 p.m.

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.

More showers and thunderstorms are expected this afternoon and evening in NW Montana. The potential for further runoff exists in and around Glacier National Park.
National Weather Service Missoula

  Flood waters are receding in some parts of northwest Montana. Snowmelt, however, continues to create problems in other areas.

Steady rain will continue for much of northwest Montana today. Many locations have already seen significant rainfall in the past 36 hours, with common amounts in the 2-3 inch range.
National Weather Service Missoula

Persistent rainfall is creating flooding headaches in northwest Montana. A washed-out culvert just north of Apgar closed a portion of Going-To-The-Sun Road early Monday. That was just one of several heavy rain-related problems reported in northwest Montana.

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