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Snow Levels and Lack of Rain May Lead to Dry Season

Roaring Lion Creek
Roaring Lion Creek was living up to its name last week. (Fullerton Photo)
The snowfall was a little below normal and rainfall was much lower than expected in Southwest Montana this spring.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has released its streamflow forecast for the Bitterroot River drainage, which is Ravalli County’s major river.

The figures show that the Bitterroot River and streams that feed it will run about 68 percent of average in June and July. That could mean problems for irrigators and recreationists in later summer.

Looking at just two automated snow courses:

  • Saddle Mountain – Snow Water Content – 52 percent of last year
  • Twin Lakes – Snow Water Content – 34 percent of last year
  • Rainfall average was only 48 percent the May average in Ravalli County. Temperatures were warm during the day and over freezing at night, which also caused more snowmelt.

    Officials are hoping for more rain in June.

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