June snow and upcoming predictions for southwest Montana
By Bella Butler EBS STAFF
BIG SKY – Staying true to Montana’s notoriously erratic spring weather, snowflakes touched down on green grass and budding trees in Big Sky on June 8. For many, the summer snow is reminiscent of a collection of other white June blusters, such as the storm that welcomed the first day of summer last year. In the midst of the reliable unpredictability, though, forecasts still suggest an especially hot and dry summer for 2020.
According to Leeann Allegretto, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Missoula, a trend forecast for the western half of the state predicts that July, August and September will yield slightly warmer and slightly drier conditions than normal, with the forecast for the eastern half of the state hovering closer to normal.
Allegretto said that for the next 10-14 days, cold and wet weather systems will withstand, but a transition to hotter and drier days will come at the end of June through mid-July.
“I think there’s a lot of shock value when you see snow in June but it’s not totally uncommon to have really cold systems in early summer late spring,” Allegretto said, adding that these conditions are favorable and welcomed in regard to the big picture, where this kind of consistent moisture “delays the smoke.”
The meteorologist said that in and around Bozeman, the snowpack is roughly 59 percent of normal, holding water yet to be added to the area’s already surging rivers and streams. On June 8, the United States Geological Survey reported the Gallatin River to be flowing at 3,910 cubic feet per second, a figure 570 cubic feet per second above the average measurement for this day.
Allegretto also warned of upcoming below-freezing temperatures and the potential for frost at night, a spring gardener’s worst nightmare.