MTPR

snow

Year-to-date precipitation basin percentage of normal.
Natural Resources Conservation Service

Below-normal precipitation last month combined with warmer seasonal temperatures nibbled around the edges of Montana’s snowpack, but it could have been a lot worse.

It turns out that February’s bitter cold and record snowfall had an important upside. It bought Montana’s snowpack a little extra time during what turned out to be a very dry March.

Temperatures will be slowly increasing in the Northern Rockies, starting this Friday and lasting through the first half of next week, with highs reaching the upper 40s to low 50s across much of north central Idaho and western Montana. March 13, 2019.
NWS Missoula

While a blizzard slammed parts of southeast Montana Wednesday, it seems winter weather is finally giving way to spring-like conditions west of the divide.

National Weather Service Missoula says spring runoff season is just about to start in earnest. 

Sub-basin snow water equivalent - March 1, 2019.
NRCS Montana Snow Survey Staff

February bucked all expectations of warmer-than-average temperatures and below normal snowfall.

“One of the things that is unique about this job is things can turn around pretty quickly, so you end up eating crow more often than you’d like,” says Lucas Zukiewicz, a water supply specialist with the Bozeman-based Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Montana Residents Dig Out As Storm Shuts Down Highways

Feb 26, 2019
Snow falling in Missoula, Feb. 25, 2019.
Josh Burnham

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Residents in western Montana dug out from more than 2 feet of snow Tuesday as a winter storm pounded the southern part of the state, closing major roadways and prompting backcountry avalanche warnings.

Missoula set a new daily snowfall record with 8.6 inches (22 centimeters) on Monday, breaking a mark that had stood since 1917.

Forget The Powder; Why Some Animals Prefer Crusty Snow

Feb 24, 2019
A fox in mid-air about to poke through the snow while hunting.
iStock

This morning, the valley sits under a blanket of fresh snow, and another few inches is forecast for tomorrow. I love the first day or two after a snowfall when everything is still white and clean, before the snow’s presence in town becomes more of a hindrance than a facelift.

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