The National Weather Service is warning residents of western Montana that poor water drainage will develop throughout the next week due to rapidly melting snow.

Meteorologist Corby Dickerson said on Tuesday, February 11, that the temperature in Missoula rose to 42 degrees, causing much of the heavy snow that has accumulated over the past few days to begin melting.

"We've had quite a bit of snow over the past several weeks, and on top of that snow it has remained quite cold," Dickerson said. "Now, with the big warm-up today, with a high of 42 so far, we're seeing a lot of snow-melt happening. With all the snow that has been plowed and piled up, there are a lot of drain covers that have been clogged up, and we're seeing lots of ponding of water. And, since we're not expecting colder temperatures through the weekend, there will be continued snow-melt in the valleys,"

Dickerson said the picture isn't quite clear as to whether local rivers might experience any flooding with the warmer temperatures.

"For some area rivers that might have some additional ice, or have thicker ice, those are the ones that may be problematic," Dickerson said. "A lot of the smaller streams may start to see increased flow. We're not anticipating any huge issues, but some of the creeks in rural areas may begin running a little more aggressively and could flow outside their banks at times, especially late in the day and in the evenings when the snow-melt will be at its highest point."

The National Weather Service is warning residents to watch out for water in low-lying garages, outbuildings and basements.

Meteorologist Corby Dickerson