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Weather Wise: The Wet Season

Posted at 4:44 PM, May 20, 2024

Memorial Day weekend is supposed to be the unofficial start of summer, but then again we live in Montana.

It's the most, wettest time of the year! While other parts of the country will celebrate the unofficial start of summer in flip-flops on the beach, here in Montana we are more likely to be in muck boots around a campfire.

Most Memorial Day weekends here have at least one day with rain and mountain snow, another day with showers and thunderstorms, and then maybe one sunny day that makes you wonder why the other two days couldn't be like this.

Well, the reason is that late May and early June are the wettest time of year for most of Montana. Every city in Montana either has its greatest monthly precipitation in May or June. Climatologically the most precipitation falls at the end of May and the beginning of June. This time of year, large slow-moving spring storms roll across the northern tier of the continental United States. Each one of these low-pressure systems can produce several inches of rain with several feet of snow in the mountains. Meanwhile, at other times of the year, most of Montana's cities average less than one inch of liquid equivalent precipitation for the entire month.

Eventually, we flip the switch to summer as the storm track lifts north and fewer and fewer thunderstorms form as Montana dries out typically around Independence Day.

But this Memorial Day weekend weather in Montana will be fairly typical with showers, mountain snow and cool temperatures for at least two days, so get those muck boots out.