Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Billings, MT

Current Version | Previous Version | Graphics & Text | Print | Product List | Glossary On
Versions: 1 2
000
AXUS75 KBYZ 131854
DGTBYZ
MTC003-009-011-017-025-037-065-067-075-087-095-097-103-107-111-
WYC033-151900-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BILLINGS MT
1254 PM MDT TUE SEP 13 2016

...DROUGHT CONDITIONS REMAIN OVER SOUTHEAST MONTANA...

CURRENT CONDITIONS...

A SMALL AREA OF D2 (SEVERE) TO D3 (EXTREME) DROUGHT WAS OBSERVED
IN SOUTHEASTERN CARTER COUNTY ON SEPTEMBER 6TH. SEVERE DROUGHT
CONDITIONS WERE ALSO OBSERVED ALONG THE BEARTOOTH FOOTHILLS. THE
PERCENTAGE OF MONTANA THAT WAS OBSERVED TO BE IN D3 OR GREATER
DROUGHT WAS 0.48 PERCENT...WHICH NEARLY UNCHANGED FROM LAST MONTH.
THE REMAINDER OF SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST MONTANA RANGED FROM
NO DROUGHT TO MODERATE DROUGHT CONDITIONS. CURRENT CONDITIONS AS
DEPICTED BY THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR CAN BE FOUND HERE:
HTTP://DROUGHTMONITOR.UNL.EDU

SYNOPSIS...

A WARM AND DRY SPRING AND EARLY SUMMER...ON THE HEELS OF A DRY
WINTER...ALLOWED DROUGHT CONDITIONS TO INTENSIFY DURING SUMMER.
DROUGHT CONDITIONS SINCE AUGUST HAVE REMAINED STEADY...AND NOT
WORSENED...DUE TO A SERIES OF MODEST RAIN EVENTS AND A LACK OF
EXTREME HEAT. PRECIPITATION OVER THE PAST 30 DAYS WAS ABOVE NORMAL
ACROSS MUCH OF SOUTHEAST AND SOUTH CENTRAL MONTANA. TEMPERATURES
OVER THE PAST MONTH HAVE BEEN SLIGHTLY COOLER THAN NORMAL. THROUGH
THE 13TH...THE FIRST PART OF SEPTEMBER WAS A BIT COOLER AND WETTER
THAN NORMAL. A COOL WEATHER SYSTEM ON THE 11TH/12TH BROUGHT
WIDESPREAD LOWER ELEVATION RAIN AND MOUNTAIN SNOWFALL.

IMPACTS...

-WILDFIRE ACTIVITY: WILDFIRE SEASON BEGAN EARLY IN 2016...AND
SEVERAL SMALL WILDFIRES OCCURRED IN SOUTHEAST MONTANA DURING JULY
AND AUGUST. WILDFIRE POTENTIAL HAS DECREASED IN SEPTEMBER. ON
SEPTEMBER 12TH...MOST OF SOUTHEAST MONTANA WAS UNDER STAGE 1 FIRE
RESTRICTIONS...AND YELLOWSTONE COUNTY WAS STAGE 2.

-STREAMFLOW: FLOWS REMAIN BELOW AVERAGE ON NON-RESERVOIR FED
SYSTEMS DUE TO AN EARLY SNOWMELT...LACK OF JUNE PRECIPITATION AND
IRRIGATION USE. SEVERAL RIVERS AND STREAMS ARE NEAR RECORD LOW FOR
THIS TIME OF YEAR IN SOUTHERN MONTANA AND ALONG THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN
FRONT. THE YELLOWSTONE IS RUNNING AT FLOWS MUCH BELOW NORMAL FOR
THE FULL EXTENT OF ITS REACH.

-SURFACE WATER SUPPLY INDEX: THE SWSI IS DESIGNED FOR AREAS THAT
RELY ON SNOW MELT AS THE PRIMARY SOURCE OF SURFACE WATER. THE SWSI
ACCOUNTS FOR SNOWPACK...MOUNTAIN PRECIPITATION...STREAMFLOW...
RESERVOIR STORAGE AND SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS. THE SWSI IS USED
BY IRRIGATORS...FISHERIES SPECIALISTS...RECREATIONISTS...AND
OTHERS TO EVALUATE CURRENT AND SEASONAL SURFACE WATER SUPPLIES. ON
SEPTEMBER 1ST...THE SWSI INDICATED EXTREMELY DRY CONDITIONS ON THE
YELLOWSTONE ABOVE THE BIGHORN RIVER...STILLWATER RIVER...AND
CLARKS FORK OF THE YELLOWSTONE RIVER.

-SOIL MOISTURE: SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS CONTINUE TO SUFFER IN
SOUTHEAST MONTANA AND ALONG THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN FRONT.

-RESERVOIRS: STORAGE CONTINUES TO BE NEAR OR SLIGHTLY BELOW
AVERAGE IN SOME RESERVOIRS ACROSS THE STATE...BUT IRRIGATION
DEMAND OVER THE LAST TWO MONTHS HAS LEFT SOME RESERVOIRS WELL
BELOW AVERAGE AS OF AUGUST 1ST.

-RESTRICTIONS ON RECREATION ALONG THE YELLOWSTONE RIVER: ON
SEPTEMBER 1ST...THE FISH AND WILDLIFE COMMISSION AGREED TO REOPEN
SEVERAL STRETCHES OF RIVER AND TRIBUTARY THAT HAD BEEN CLOSED TO
ALL RECREATION DUE TO RECENT FISH KILL FROM PARASITES. AREAS
OPENED INCLUDED THE YELLOWSTONE RIVER AND ITS TRIBUTARIES FROM THE
HIGHWAY 89 BRIDGE EAST OF LIVINGSTON DOWNSTREAM TO LAUREL. ON
SEPTEMBER 6TH...THE YELLOWSTONE RIVER FROM THE YELLOWSTONE
NATIONAL PARK BOUNDARY TO THE CARBELLA FISHING ACCESS SITE WAS
REOPENED. THE SECTION OF THE YELLOWSTONE FROM CARBELLA TO THE
HIGHWAY 89 BRIDGE REMAINS CLOSED.

-ACCORDING TO THE MONTANA WATER SUPPLY AND MOISTURE STATUS FROM
DNRC...THE FOLLOWING COUNTIES WERE IN EXTREMELY DRY STATUS IN
JULY: SWEET GRASS...STILLWATER...CARBON...YELLOWSTONE AND CARTER.
COUNTIES IN MODERATELY DRY STATUS: PARK...BIG HORN AND FALLON.

SEASONAL OUTLOOKS...

THE 3-4 WEEK OUTLOOK FOR LATE SEPTEMBER AND EARLY OCTOBER FROM THE
CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER CALLS FOR AN INCREASED LIKELIHOOD OF
ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION.

WEAK LA NINA CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE IN THE TROPICAL PACIFIC OCEAN
FOR THE UPCOMING FALL AND WINTER. LA NINA HISTORICALLY FAVORS
SLIGHTLY INCREASED ODDS OF COOLER AND WETTER WEATHER IN OUR
REGION.

GRAPHICAL SEASONAL OUTLOOKS FROM THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER
CAN BE FOUND HERE: HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV

&&

RELATED WEB SITES...
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON CURRENT DROUGHT CONDITIONS MAY BE FOUND
AT THE FOLLOWING WEB ADDRESSES...
US DROUGHT MONITOR:  HTTP://WWW.DROUGHT.UNL.EDU/DM/MONITOR.HTML
NOAA DROUGHT PAGE:  HTTP://WWW.DROUGHT.NOAA.GOV
CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER (CPC):  HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV

ADDITIONAL RIVER INFORMATION...
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE:  HTTP://WATER.WEATHER.GOV
US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY:  HTTP://WATER.USGS.GOV
US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS:  HTTP://WWW.USACE.ARMY.MIL

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...
THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR IS PRODUCED THROUGH A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN
THE NATIONAL DROUGHT MITIGATION CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
NEBRASKA-LINCOLN, THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, AND
THE NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION. INFORMATION
FOR THIS STATEMENT HAS BEEN GATHERED FROM NWS AND FAA OBSERVATION
SITES, MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION,
STATE COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICES, USDA, NRCS, USACE AND USGS.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS DROUGHT INFORMATION
STATEMENT, PLEASE CONTACT...
 NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
 2170 OVERLAND AVENUE
 BILLINGS MT 59102
 PHONE: 406-652-0851
 W-BYZ.WEBMASTER@NOAA.GOV

$$

JKL



USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.