Montana Mountain Snowpack Well Below Average

By Beacon Staff

BOZEMAN – The Natural Resources Conservation Service says Montana mountain snowpack is below average, especially west of the Continental Divide.

The agency says March 1 snowpack west of the Divide is typically 82 percent of the yearly average, but this year it is 65 percent. East of the Divide, mountain snowpack should be about 75 percent of average by March 1, and that area is trailing a bit at 71 percent.

Seasonal snowpack peaks are usually reached from early to mid-April.

February mountain precipitation was well below average for the fourth consecutive month. The mountains west of the Divide saw just over a third of the usual February snowfall while east of the Divide reported about half its normal amount.

The NRCS says streamflows across the state are predicted to be 63 percent of average with very low streamflows predicted this summer, especially for streams without reservoir storage. River basins of most concern are the Bitterroot, Lower Clark Fork, Jefferson, Sun, Teton, Marias and Lower Yellowstone.

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