Though precipitation has not been consistent, the snow levels have been building steadily in area mountains.

In fact, the Natural Resources Conservation Service reports Montana snowpack as the best in the western United States.

For instance, the Bitterroot snow reports add up to 126 percent of normal January 1st snow-water levels last year. Lucas Zukiewicz of the Bozeman NRCS office reported good levels in both western and eastern Montana, with even the often dry St Mary-Milk River drainage showing 95 percent of normal.

The Lower Clark Fork was at 116 percent of normal and the Upper Clark Fork was measured at 154 percent of normal. In the Bitterroot Valley, the west side snow courses reported 126 percent and the east side 135 percent of average, while the West Fork has 133 percent of average snow water content.

Adding all the snow courses in Western Montana came to 142 percent of last year and Eastern Montana levels were 140 percent of last year.

Zukiewicz, in a news release, said, "The snowpack is off to a great start across the state, and it's nice to brag about it, but it's really important to remwember that there is a lot of winter left come."

About 50 percent of the seasonal snowpack normally accumulates by this time of year, he said, adding, "Really, it's the April 1 and May 1 snow totals that mean the most for water users in Montana."

He said the early spring months are critical and continued consistent snowfall will help provide water through the year. You can dig into the numbers at the NRCS website.

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