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February Brought Snowfall Records To 7 Recording Sites In Montana

Snow-Water Equivalent - Percentage of 1981-2010 Normal, March 1, 2020.
USDA NRCS
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Snow-Water Equivalent - Percentage of 1981-2010 Normal, March 1, 2020.

February delivered another round of normal to record-setting snowfall in mountain ranges supplying water to Montana’s rivers and streams.

The federal government’s latest water supply outlook report says last month’s timely snowpack improves the spring and summer streamflow forecasts.

Compared to January 1, when it looked like the 2020 winter season would be a bust along the Idaho/Montana border, snowpack conditions continue to rally across the state.

The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service in Bozeman says new snowfall records were set last month at seven mountain snowpack recording sites in southern and central Montana.

NRCS says snowpack totals in all river basins across Montana are now near to above normal for March 1.

The agency adds streamflow prospects for spring and summer are shaping up to be slightly above average.

However, forecasters caution that snowfall, precip and temperatures during the next three months will ultimately determine the timing and volume of this year’s runoff.

Copyright 2020 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.