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Weather Wise: Right setup for flooding

Weather Wise: Right setup for flooding
Posted at 4:37 PM, May 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-30 11:50:28-04

Montana is no stranger to extreme weather events including flooding in the spring. While the Hi-Line experienced flooding with snowmelt earlier this spring, more of Montana is primed for a flooding situation.

May has been a warm and wet month. Temperatures have been above average and precipitation has been close to average if not above. At the beginning of the month, the snowpack was abundant with above-average snow water equivalent. but consistently warm temperatures have melted a significant amount of snow, and currently, the state snowpack is very thin. The melt has drained out of the mountains causing creeks and rivers to run high.

The ground is saturated and cannot hold much more water. Looking ahead into June, there is a strong likelihood of above-average precipitation at a time of year that is typically the wettest. Some indications are that parts of the state will receive 2 inches to as much as 6 inches of rain over the next couple of weeks.

With the exception of Northwest Montana, most of the state has above-average streamflow and cannot take much more.

Now is the time to prepare for the increased probability of flooding as the calendar flips to June.