Heavy snowfall improves snowpack in Montana
BOZEMAN, Mont. - The snowpack is improving in Montana, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service's latest findings.
The report shows February brought record-breaking snowfall. Many areas are now at or above normal for this time of year.
The NCRS tells us March, April and May are usually the big snow months, and that's why February stands out this year.
A look back at snowpack at the beginning of February shows levels below normal in some areas. Storms that month helped to replenish mountains and bring most of the state's snowpack to or near normal.
Snow in the winter doesn't just mean good skiing, it also brings optimism for the months ahead. The NRCS says good snowpack means rivers will reach normal levels. That water is used for everything from irrigation to drinking.
"We have a little bit of time before we can really make a good determination or a more skillful determination on how much water we're going to have in our streams. It does mean we have improved since February. We're pretty much right on track and maybe even a little bit above in some parts of this region," said Lucas Zukiewicz, a water supply specialist for the NRCS.
April is usually Montana's peak time for snowpack. Zukiewicz tells us the next few months will play a big part in water supply for the rest of the year.