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Drought conditions worsen over SW Montana

Drought conditions worsen over SW Montana
Posted at 1:36 PM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 15:36:28-04

BOZEMAN – Another day dominated by blocking High-pressure. This ridge pattern will be locked in place through the weekend into most of next week. The overall weather pattern will continue to be drier than normal and warmer than normal.

Morning lows will be nice and cool and frosty for higher elevated valleys but daytime highs across the board will remain above normal with mostly 70s.

We ended another water year yesterday September 30 and began a new water today. Looking back at the last year water year (Oct. 1, 2019 to Sep. 30, 2020) the departures from normal were substantially below normal for SW Montana, in fact, 3” to 5” below normal.

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Most reporting stations in the state also ended up below normal.

Thursday, we get updates on the drought monitor and there has been a significant increase in drought conditions across Montana. “Moderate” drought conditions now cover over 40% of Montana, and “Severe” drought is up to a little over 4%.

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Moderate drought conditions expanded over SW Montana and now includes Dillon, Bozeman, Butte and up to Helena. (see graphic).

We will not likely see any improvements in the current drought situation until the end of the upcoming winter. Early indications of a La Nina pattern could help produce above normal snow for Montana this winter season. We will get the official NOAA winter weather forecast soon so stay tuned.