January snowpack declines following an exceptionally snowy December
After making significant gains in December, Montana’s mountain snowpack level took a slight dip in January. December’s exceptional snowfall continued right into the first week of January. Then the tap shut off. Clear skies and warmer-than-normal temperatures dominated the rest of the month.
Eric Larson is a snow survey hydrologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service in Bozeman.
“All major river basins have a below-normal snowpack, except for the Lower Clark Fork, Kootenai and St. Mary’s River basins."
Last fall forecasters predicted a particularly cold and snowy La Niña winter for Montana.
The one month extended outlook again calls for an elevated chance of above normal precipitation, but Larson says that’s not a guarantee.
"The good news is there are still about 2 to 3 months remaining in our snow accumulation season."
As of last week, 85.9 percent of the state was still categorized as being in severe drought.