Despite Massive Snowfall – Northwest Montana Mountain Snow Pack Only ‘Near Normal’
When the snow falls in terms of feet rather than inches in the mountains, the assumption would be that snow pack would be above normal for the upcoming spring and summer.
According to the National Weather Service, the snow pack in the mountains of northwest Montana is only 'near normal'.
Meteorologist Travis Booth says snow pack is better termed the 'snow-water equivalent'.
"The snow water equivalent, basically the amount of moisture or water in the snow pack in the mountains is only about 90 percent of what it would normally be at this time of year," Booth said. "Basically, what that equates to is generally from one to two inches below normal, so it's really close to average. However, with this new storm coming in today into tomorrow we could certainly make up that difference and be basically right at about average for mountain snow pack."
Booth said the snow pack before the nearly three feet of snow fell over the past few days was only a little over 65 to 75 percent of where it should have been.
"The snow water equivalent prior to the storm and it added anywhere from four to five inches of water to the snow pack, so it was a pretty big deal," he said. "Looking later in the spring the general idea is that there's a greater probability of above normal precipitation for the spring months, so there's quite a bit of hope there."