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Montana’s wet spring has improved drought conditions

 The Yellowstone River in Livingston, MT, on the morning of June 13, 2022.
Nick Mott
Montana Public Radio
The Yellowstone River in Livingston on the morning of June 13, 2022.

Montana’s cool, wet spring has improved the state’s drought conditions. The state is expected to release a snapshot of drought conditions Thursday.

Montana is coming off the fourth driest year on record and the wet spring has improved drought conditions.

“We’ll probably have upwards of 20% of the state with no drought category at all," said Michael Downy, head of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Service’s Water Planning Section, "and then a bunch more of the state still trending abnormally dry but really not in a drought category.”

Downy says northwest Montana is now nearly drought free.

“Things in northeast Montana, which were really dire last summer – northeast and southeast have improved greatly," he said. "Obviously south-central [Montana] is reeling not from drought but from flooding. It’s really the central core of the state that’s still in more of a drought status.”

North-central Montana remains stubbornly dry. Extended hot, dry weather could erase any gains made over the past few months.

Copyright 2022 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

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