Wet Winter Pushes Montana From Severe Drought to Drenched
For years now, Western Montana has struggled with drought, even through the winters, but according to National Weather Service Hydrologist Ray Nickless, the current wet winter has moved the state from drought to drenched.
In October of 2016, we had experienced a period of lack of moisture and early spring run-off from the snow pack from last year and we had a large section of Western Montana and Southwestern Montana considered to be in severe drought."
Most years, Montanans worry about things like snow pack in fear of a potential brutal fire season in summer, but Nickless says he’s now more worried about too much precipitation, rather than not enough.
"As far as drought related stuff we're really, well, I'll tell ya, we're looking really good, so I'm not too concerned about our drought situation now," Nickless said. "Now I'm kind of shifting into that mode where, if we continue to get these surges of moisture off the Pacific we're going to have to be more concerned with the opposite, with flood."
Right now, there is just one small pocket of South Eastern Montana still facing drought conditions. As far as flooding is concerned, Nickless says Northwest Montana near Kalispell is being carefully monitored.