HELENA — Snowpack in Montana and across the West is less than desirable, however, the current situation is not terrible.
Looking at the latest snow water equivalent across Montana's river basins and there are some positives. The Sun, Teton and Marias Basin is currently 110% of normal. The St. Mary and Milk River Basin, Flathead and Kootenai are all above normal, with the Clark Fork and Bitterroot Basin very close to average. The Jefferson, Madison, Gallatin, Yellowstone, Smith, Judith and Musselshell are all in the 80% range.
West wide, there's a lot of yellow indicating a percentile range between 70-and-89. The Northern Rockies, Pacific Northwest, and the four corner states are close to average.
Looking ahead for the months of April, May and June, the National Climate Prediction Center is showing above average temperatures for much of the west, with Montana being close to if not below average. For precipitation, the West and the South are dry with Montana near normal.
Much of the West — including more than half of Montana — is currently in extreme drought. Northwestern Montana has no drought.
The United States seasonal drought outlook has most of the West and the Plains with persisting drought.
These next few months are the wettest time of year for Montana, and every drop and flake will be critical. with back-to-back dry winters and widespread drought conditions, this upcoming fire season could again be quite active.