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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.

Regional impacts of La Niña.
NOAA/National Weather Service

Something’s brewing in the Pacific Ocean that could significantly affect Montana later this year. Edward O’Brien explains:

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.

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
USDA/NRCS

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.

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