Mountain snowpack below average

42_0118WINTER WONDERLAND  — Combine a little humidty and a batch of cold air and presto, you have a scene that looks as crisp and clean as this.  I-O Photo by Barb Endler





The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) reports that as of Feb. 1, mountain snowpack was below average and below last year, following the third month in a row with below average mountain precipitation.

January mountain precipitation west of the Divide was 57 percent of average and east of the Divide was 60 percent of average.

Roy Kaiser from the NRCS in Bozeman says, “The first of February is when we are at 65 percent of our seasonal snowpack maximum west of the Divide and 63 percent of our season snowpack maximum east of the Divide.”

State-wide mountains snow water contents were 73 percent of average and 80 percent of last year.

East of the Divide, the snowpack was 74 percent of average and 78 percent of last year.

Assuming there is near average precipitation, Montana streamflows are forecast at 67 percent of average east of the Continental Divide.

The average river basin streamflow forecast summaries are for the periods of April 1 through July 1.

These forecasts assume near normal spring conditions and do not account for well below average (70 percent of less) or well above average (13 percent or more) snowmelt or spring rain. For April-July this year, the percent of average for the Sun-Teton-Marias river basin is 64 percent of average this year.

For April-July last year, the percent of average was 84 percent.