Snowpacks improve across the state, but Flathead is still below average

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Above normal snowfall in February and December-like temperatures have led to an improvement of snowpack totals for March 1 in river basins across the state, according to snow survey data collected by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

As of March 1, the snowpack in the Flathead river basin was 93 percent of normal. At the same time last year it was 137 percent of normal.

The Kootenai River basin on March 1 was sitting at 91 percent of normal compared with 122 percent last year.

Snowpack totals have improved to near normal in many northern river basins, and to well above normal in basins in southern Montana.

Overall, west of the divide the snowpack is 101 percent of normal compared with 138 percent last year. East of the divide is 114 percent of normal compared with 139 percent last year.

Monthly totals were especially impressive in some southern and central regions of Montana, according to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The Madison River basin, for example, is now 130 percent of average; the upper Yellowstone 121 percent of average. As a whole, the Missouri River basin is 120 percent of average. The Missouri Basin includes some of the most popular fishing streams in the state. The Columbia Basin, which includes the Flathead River, is now 101 percent of average overall.

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