Experts Watching the Snowpack Melt - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Experts Watching the Snowpack Melt

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BILLINGS, Mont. - Snow tracking experts say they still need to watch the snowpack as we move forward in the spring.

The USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service keeps track of the snowpack.

While some of the snow has melted in the lower and middle elevations -- the higher elevations have seen a delay in the melt due to the cooler weather pattern.

As of May 1st, the snow water content, that is how much water is actually in snow, in the Yellowstone River Basin is 166% which is equal to the number last year.

Some more good news, the snow water content did not go over the amounts in 1997 and 2011 when there was significant flooding.

What helped is April precipitation across the state was below average. But, if the snow melt continues to be delayed, river basins could increase.

Here is the snow water content for Montana according to NRCS SNOTEL:

River Basin

May 1 % of Median

% of Last Year

Columbia

159

148

     Kootenai

145

126

     Flathead

156

138

     Upper Clark Fork

162

170

    Bitterroot

188

199

     Lower Clark Fork

164

138

Missouri

150

153

     Missouri Headwaters

142

149

          Jefferson

143

159

          Madison

135

141

          Gallatin

148

142

     Missouri Mainstem

172

164

          Headwaters Mainstem

180

186

          Smith-Judith Musselshell

158

154

          Sun-Teton-Marias

178

160

          Milk

0

0

St. Mary

138

116

St. Mary & Milk

136

115

Yellowstone

157

153

     Upper Yellowstone

166

166

     Lower Yellowstone

149

144

Statewide

155

149

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