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Weather Bureau – May Moisture Helps Snowpack – Summer Could Be Hot And Relatively Dry

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Senior Meteorologist Bob Nester with the National Weather Service Office in Missoula, has put together a look back at moisture levels for May, as well as a peek ahead into the probable forecast for summer and Montana’s Wildfire Season.

“As far as moisture goes, we’re running right at about normal in west central Montana, Nester said. “in May we had about 90 percent of the normal precipitation with the same for April, so compared to last year, we’re doing quite a bit better.”

Nester said snowpack levels vary greatly through the region.

“We’ve lots quite a bit of snowpack in the Bitterroots, it’s down to about 32 percent of normal,” he said. “Most of that is up high in the upper Clark Fork region, where it’s 77 percent of normal. It’s about 80 percent of normal in the Flathead.”

Nestor said the look ahead could foretell a warm, possibly dry summer.

“Our three month outlook for the months of June, July and August, according to the Climate Prediction Center, there’s confidence in above normal temperatures with precipitation ranging from below to average to above normal,” he said. “It’s hard to forecast summer precipitation due to the convective nature of the precipitation throughout the period.”

The National Interagency Fire center is predicting a ‘normal’ fire season for western Montana.

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