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Drought in Montana is unlikely to improve this year, researcher says

U.S. Drought Monitor Map from July 2, 2024 showing all but one county in Montana as at least "Abnormally Dry". All of western Montana is in "Moderate Drought" or "Severe Drought".
U.S. Drought Monitor
U.S. Drought Monitor Map from July 2, 2024

The governor’s drought advisory committee predicts a dry summer across the state.

Troy Blandford studies water trends for the Montana State Library.

According to Blandford, Montana needed above average rainfall in April, May and June to avoid drought this summer. But that didn’t happen.

“I think it's fair to say that … it did not pan out for much of the state this year.”

Areas around the northern Rocky Mountain Front are predicted to experience severe drought, while much of the rest of the state is predicted to see a moderate drought or abnormally dry conditions.

According to Blandford, the state will need below-average temperatures and above-average precipitation this summer to hold “status quo at best.”

“I think it's very unlikely that we see much improvement at this point," Blandford says. "We're coming up on our dry months.”

Elinor is a reporter and the host of evening news on Montana Public Radio.
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