HELENA- The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service says Montana’s snowpack is currently the best in the western U.S.

KTVH Meteorologist Curtis Grevenitz says whether it’s in your neighborhood or across the high-country snowfall has largely been above average across the state.

The mountain snowpack is like money in the bank for Montana’s lakes and streams, helping sustain them through the summer months.

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According to the latest data, mountain snowpack is water equivalent is above average in all region except the Kootenai, St. Mary-Milk river basins. And since the beginning of the water year, Oct. 1, precipitation is trending close to “well above normal.”

States south of Montana have not been as lucky. Snowpack in Oregon and southern Idaho is sparse, and California and Nevada’s Sierra mountains are looking at one of the driest starts on record. Utah is also off to a struggling start, and it only gets worse the farther south you travel.

This pattern should hopefully change, but if drought conditions develop through the winter, it could set up another active fire season across the west