Fire danger sign.
Josh Burnham

National Weather Service projections show a hot, dry summer for Montana this year.

Megan Syner, a warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service says through this spring Montana will continue to see below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation. But that could change mid-summer.

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.

Montana Department of Transportation crews clear roads north of Browning, MT on S-464, February 26, 2018.
Montana Department of Transportation

Gov. Steve Bullock says $200,000 in emergency energy assistance funding will be released to eligible families on three Montana Indian reservations hit hard this winter.

State health department spokesman Jon Ebelt says state officials have received reports of hardship among some residents of the Blackfeet, Fort Belknap and Northern Cheyenne reservations.

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?

Snow water equivalent, basin percentage of normal, Feb. 1, 2018.
Natural Resources Conservation Service

The National Weather Service says there's a 70 percent chance of flooding in the Clark Fork and Flathead River valleys this spring.

"Probably not a bad idea to start thinking about sandbags," National Weather Service hydrologist Ray Nickless says in a youtube video posted today.