While the majority of Montana is at normal or normal rainfall, officers are keeping a close eye on dry strand in the north-western part of the state.
The Governor's Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee met this week in Helena after a winter marked with early and then cold heat and brutal snow. The committee includes members of multi-state and federal agencies that track the weather, current flow, runoff and flood damages.
The early winter brought hot non-seasonal temperatures for much of January. This changed dramatically in February with a cold front that sets temperatures far below zero snow and dumped across valley floors. But in early March, the precipitation was dried.
“This is our challenge, we expect precipitation in February much higher than normal, some of these areas are in the 300 percent,” said Troy Bladford, GIS analysis and water information systems manager for Montana State Library. “When we go to March it was very dry. We did not notice, because the snow was still there, that it was really cold. ”
Despite temperatures and similar winter and west precipitation, much of the state in mid-April is close to the average for both. The exceptions from the state trend are Lincoln County in northwest Montana and the southernmost part of Bighorn County, which were identified by officers as having a low incidence but not at the drought stage.
“North West is our primary concern about dryness… much of the state is looking forward to good,” said Baldford.
Megan Syner, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fallsmore, noted that driving temperatures were mostly extremes of long-term temperatures and temperatures.
“When I say it does not mean that we didn't have ends,” she said. “Overall because of these ends for the year, we have a normal routine.”
Meteorologists are watching closely trends in May and June – the two wet months of the year.
It is interesting to note that Syner noticed that the plains to the east of the Front had more snow falling than they fell in the mountains due to winter storm patterns on the Rocky Mountain front. This was mainly due to storms coming from the north and northwest which came through the northern part of the state.
Although Montana is the most disturbing west, much of its snow was going north-east as stream current and the land was frozen. He didn't let that water enter the soil.
When it comes to flooding, floods associated with ice jam are going around but flooding from a mountain snow tree is still visible.
“We don't see many strong flood signals on the main stem rivers, that doesn't mean we are out of the woods yet,” said Syner.
Officers do not see concerns about flooding immediately.
“The best case is what we have seen so far this year,” she said, with heating and temperature gradually staying below 80 degrees.
A snowpack in the state was probably successful during the year, said Lucas Zukiewicz, a water supply specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. In terms of the mountain snow hill, the main concern is River Kootenai. Usually the drying comes from tributaries in Canada, which saw a snow year much less than normal, he said.
“We are unlikely to reach normal river flows in the Kootenai Basin this summer,” he said.
The Language River has also predicted that it is below normal, and it also said.
The reporter can find Tom Kuglin at 447-4076 @IR_TomKuglin
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