Flathead River snowpack is about average so far this winter

by CHRIS PETERSON
Editor | January 13, 2021 1:00 AM

The Flathead River Basin snowpack is about average for this time of year, though December precipitation was below normal.

Winter started out cold and snowy in October, but has moderated considerably over the past 2 1/2 months.

The past couple of weeks have featured as much rain as snow at lower elevations. It shows in the data, as higher elevation areas are showing a higher snow water equivalent than lower elevations, where it rained instead of snowed.

For example, the snowpack at Badger Pass is 135 percent of average, while Emery Creek is 107 percent of average. Flattop Mountain in Glacier National Park is also above average at 127 percent.

Not all high elevation areas are higher, however. Noisy Basin in the Jewel Basin is just about average at 99 percent.

Meteorologists noted at the beginning of the season a La Nina winter was expected, which typically means colder and snowier conditions in Montana. That hasn’t panned out, so far, though colder and snowier weather is expected by the end of next week.