A flood watch predicted late last week for a portion of Missoula was upgraded to a warning Monday.
National Weather Service Missoula last week knew that warm temperatures would soon start peeling off mountain snowpack.
Meteorologists then were reasonably confident that isolated flooding would impact portions of west Missoula like Kehrwald Drive and north Tower street, which are usually prone to spring flooding.
With high temperatures hitting the 80-degree mark Sunday and Monday, that confidence has bumped up a notch.
“We are very confident that flooding will occur," Meteorologist Dave Nobel says.
That flooding should be isolated and inconvenient, but nowhere near as severe as last year’s record flooding.
The warm temperatures are expected to last for a couple of more days.
“Temperatures are only getting down to the lower 50s up in the mountains, even while the valleys are cooling off. That warmth even at night is helping the snow to melt a little faster," Nobel says.
A significantly cooler and wetter weather pattern is forecast by week’s end.
“We’re talking probably highs in the 50s to near 60 with constant rainfall. Friday should be seeing rain all day and feeling very different than what we’ve been experiencing."
Forecasters are calling for anywhere from a half-inch up to an inch and a half of rainfall late this week.
The Weather Service says the Clark Fork River above Missoula is expected to reach flood stage of 7.5 feet by Tuesday afternoon and will continue to rise and potentially crest over 9 feet by early next week.