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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2074 | Fax: (406) 444-2684
Questions? Email us

Past Monthly Drought Reports

File PDF document January 2017 Drought Report
File PDF document January 2017 Drought Report
January can be summarized as cold and dry. Precipitation ranged from 50-70 percent of average for the majority of the state. There were some pockets of above average in the south central and south east as well as along the southeast part of the Highline. One major anomaly was in the upper Rocky Mountain Front area where 200-300 percent of average precipitation was seen for the month. The driest areas were concentrated west of the Divide, in the east central part of the state near the Musselshell basin, and in parts of the southeast.
File PDF document December 2016 Drought Report
December provided significant snows after a record warm November. While valley snow accumulations ranged between 4-12 inches, the high elevation snowpack only started to reach average snow depth by the end of the month. Similarly, the Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) levels were almost all below 50% of average at the beginning of December, but by the end of the month were reaching near normal levels. Lower SWE levels were recorded at SNOTEL sites in the Little Belts, the Dear Lodge Mountains, and the Sapphire, Swan and Lewis Ranges. With January, February, and March still to come a normal winter snowpack and SWE accumulation are anticipated. The US Drought Monitor shows improved conditions only in the Southeast corner. This reflects that Montana’s snowpack essentially arrived in one month. Likely improvement is anticipated in the months to come, but long-term trends should not be overlooked with short-term weather changes.
File PDF document November Drought Report
November was warm and dry in contrast to the record wet month of October. Temperatures for November ranged from 3-12° F above normal across the state, with the majority of warmer temperatures being seen in the east. Precipitation was 5-25% of average for the majority of the state. Precipitation averages for the month of November raised concern in Ravalli, Powell, Deer Lodge and southern Lewis & Clark, as well as Rosebud, Custer, Prairie, Dawson, McCone, and Garfield Counties where low flows this past summer caused impacts to soil moisture, groundwater springs, and water for grazing cattle.
File PDF document October Drought Report
October was a wet month statewide, ranking in the top ten wettest Octobers for the last 122 years. Average temperatures for September and October saw a marked decline from record highs in August. October was the 62nd coolest October of record, while the statewide composite average for the last 12 months was 2.3°F above normal, with nine of the last 12 months having warmer than normal temperatures.
Water Supply Reports
During the Growing Season (March - October):
US Drought Monitor

Feb. 7, 2017 USDM

Surface Water Supply Index (SWSI)

Feb. 1, 2017 SWSI

Montana Drought Status by County

Montana Drought Status by County: January 2017

How does the US Drought Monitor work in Montana?

Applications Used in making the United States Drought Monitor