News & Features

NWS Warns of Flooding as Snow Starts to Melt

Temperatures in the 40s are expected over the weekend

Warm days and tons of snow could result in a sloppy mess in the Flathead Valley and across western Montana in the coming days.

The National Weather Service in Missoula was telling residents to prepare for local flooding this weekend and into next week when temperatures are expected to reach the 40s. Jeff Kitsmiller, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said rivers are not yet a concern as the mountain snowpack remains stable, but valley-level snow could be problematic.

“We’re worried about water from melting snow getting into people’s basements and flooding roadways,” he said.

Officials recommend that local residents make sure their storm drains are clear so that water doesn’t backup.

Temperatures will drop below freezing at night, Kitsmiller said, meaning the melted snow will refreeze. Kitsmiller said drivers will have to watch out for black ice.

The coming melt comes weeks after Northwest Montana was plunged into a deep, dark cold with significant parts of Lake McDonald and Flathead Lake both freezing over. The last time Flathead Lake completely froze over was in 1990. The freeze forced the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes to delay its annual Mack Days competition until at least March 22.