April 2016 Was the Warmest on Record for Missoula
April sure seemed like an unseasonably warm month in Western Montana, and according to Meteorologist Jeff Kitsmiller from the National Weather Service, there’s now data to back-up that opinion.
"Around here, especially if you take just Missoula particularly, we had our warmest April since we've been keeping records at the airport... since 1948," Kitsmiller said.
Many fear that the warm weather will deplete the snowpack early, leaving Montana exposed to a brutal fire season, but that may not be the case.
"There are probably a few areas that may lose snowpack a bit quicker than normal, and that would be around this area, closer to Missoula, but as you get into some of the higher elevations, like in the Bitterroot Range, or in the Pintler Range near Butte, they actually gained snowpack during that little cool down that we had," Kitsmiller said
Kitsmiller says the fire forecast for the region is still just moderate and that a lot will depend on how much precipitation we receive during the summer.