BOZEMAN – The weekly update on the Montana drought monitor shows worsening conditions over most the state despite some recent rain associated with thunderstorms earlier in the week.
The percentage breakdown is as follows: Exceptional Drought (D4) now covers just under 12% of the state from SW Montana up into the NE. Extreme Drought (D3) covers 68% of the state. Severe Drought (D2) covers almost the entire state at 98%. Moderate Drought (D1) is at 100%.
Across SW Montana the Exceptional Drought status covers most of Beaverhead and Madison counties. The update shows the Exceptional Drought rating is expanding into eastern Silver Bow County, southern Jefferson County and Southern Broadwater County. Central and NW Gallatin County is now under the worst-case scenario drought rating.
Extreme drought covers the rest of SW Montana except for the West Yellowstone area and up in the Philipsburg area they are rated as Severe Drought.
The 30, 60, and 90 day outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center through October continues the current trend of warmer than normal and dryer to near normal precipitation trends.
At best monsoonal thunderstorms can bring periods of wet and dry thunderstorms. Some of the wet storms produce localized pockets of moderate to heavy rain which helps ease the drought conditions for only a few days.