Rain Continues, Precipitation Numbers Still Below Normal
It's hard to believe after days of rain, but National Weather Service Hydrologist Ray Nickless said the amount of water hitting Montana over the past month is below normal.
"Precipitation numbers for the month of May are actually below average," Nickless said. "May and June are our wettest months of the year as far as the lower valley locations are concerned, and the precipitation that we've gotten, even though it seems pretty wet, are actually below the average in most of the counties. Missoula and north especially, are all below average for precipitation for the month of May."
Nickless said that the rain needs to keep coming if there is any hope of pushing fire season back.
"If we look into the long term, we got to keep getting rain because we have such a lack of snowpack in a lot of areas, levels will continue to drop unless we receive more rain," Nickless said. "If we don't get rain and we get into a period where we get into hot or warmer temperatures and no rain, that'll start increasing our fire potential."
While snow was falling at above average levels for most of the states east of Montana, a high pressure system kept Montana warmer and drier than normal last winter, leading to a small amount of snowpack that is quickly diminishing.