Jun 9, 2011 6:06 PM by Meteorologist Mike Heard
UPDATE: Flood Warning now includes Clark Fork River at Deer Lodge. Increased flows from Warm Springs creek, Silver Bow creek and from Warm Springs ponds will increase flows downstream to Deer Lodge.
River levels across SW Montana continue to rise slowly today and most are well above flood stage. There was not as much rain as predicted for the region which will greatly help ease runoff a little and with cold morning temperatures today freezing levels came way down which has slowed snowpack melting down a little as well.
Freezing levels will rise throughout the weekend which in turn will keep snowmelt going, however, only weaker pacific systems will move through with light to moderate rain thus high runoff is still expected but river levels should fall back to flood stage by Sunday or Monday. Until then river levels will remain well above flood stage.
Big Hole River at Melrose at 2pm Thursday was at 7.09', flood stage is 6' and should continue to rise to 8.3' by Friday and then fall just above flood stage by Sunday or Monday.
Jefferson River at Twin Bridges at 2pm was below it's flood stage at 9.13', flood stage 10', however it's expected to rise to 11.7' by Friday and fall a bite by Sunday just above flood stage.
Jefferson River at Three Forks at 2pm was above it's flood stage at 8.63', flood stage is 8', forecast to rise to 9.5' by Saturday and recede just above flood stage Sunday or Monday.
Gallatin River at Logan at 2pm today was at 9.08', flood stage is 8', forecast to rise to 9.6' by Saturday and recede a bit but stay above flood stage by Monday.
Missouri River at Toston at 2pm was up to 10.8', flood stage 10.5', forecast to hit 12.2' by Saturday and stay above flood stage this weekend.
There have been numerous reports of smaller streams overflowing their banks in Silver Bow County and Deer Lodge County and Powell County and Jefferson County, thus Flood Warnings for smaller streams will continue for at least another 24 hours.
Flood Warnings are up for the Big Hole, Jefferson, Gallatin and Missouri Rivers in SW Montana through the weekend and moderate to major flooding is likely on those river basins.
Rivers and streams will likely recede into next week but remain running very high and dangerous. There is still a tremendous amount of high mountain snowpack in place and with each warm up and storm producing rain look for more surges of high water producing flooding in SW Montana throughout the remainder of June and possibly in early July. Over the last 24 hours mountain ranges in SW Montana saw an additional 4" to 8" of snow.
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