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Published January 30, 2024

Mountain Snowpack Trending Very Low

Written by
Kim Fundingsland
| The Dakotan

Major Water Source for Lake Sakakawea

This winter has been exceedingly mild, spurred by a strong El Nino, and has produced minimal snowfall – so far. The Rocky Mountain snowpack is trending much less than normal according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The latest Snow Water Equivalent data proved by the Corps, based on mountain snowfall through January 28, is just 54% of the 1991-2000 average. Those years are considered the most accurate and recent for the sake of comparison.

The second runoff area that influences Missouri and Yellowstone River levels each spring and summer, Fort Peck to Garrison Reservoir, is measured by the Corps to have Snow Water Equivalent at 62% of normal. Peak levels for both areas normally occur in mid-April.

Though the precise track remains uncertain, a weather system containing the potential for additional precipitation over the Missouri River Basin survey area is possible later this week.

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