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Below normal mountain precipitation in Montana causes snowpack declines statewide

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Snowpack levels have declined statewide due to a dry late winter. PHOTO COURTESY OF PEXELS.COM

NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE

Major weather pattern changes in March marked a return to closer-to-seasonal temperatures during the latter half of the month for Montana, a welcome change after a brutally cold February.

It was also a dramatic change from the well above average February precipitation across the state to well below average for precipitation totals at mountain and valley locations. According to USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service snow survey data, all mountain locations experienced well below normal snowfall for the month.

Long-range forecasts issued by the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center indicate increased chances of above average temperatures across the western half of the state from April – June and increased probability of precipitation across the southern half of the state.

“If this winter has taught me anything, it’s to expect the unexpected,” said Lucas Zukiewicz, NRCS water supply specialist.

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