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Officials Provide Climate Briefing For Month

Drought conditions have improved in eastern Montana, but improvements are still hoped. The National Weather Service held its July climate briefing last week.

Patrick Gilchrist, warning coordinator meteorologist, reported that Glasgow now stands at 79 percent of its normal precipitation level for this time of year.

“Although it’s not ideal conditions, it’s certainly better than we’ve been in the last 24 months or so,” Gilchrist said during the report.

During the time span from January 2021 through June 2022, Wolf Point recorded 13.50 inches of precipitation which is 62 percent of normal. Culbertson reports 14.81 inches, which is 68 percent of its normal level.

Other communities include Plentywood at 15.41 inches for 70 percent, Circle at 16.21 inches for 73 percent, Sidney at 19.46 inches for 84 percent and Jordan at 13.24 inches for 64 percent.

“A lot of areas haven’t recovered from drought conditions,” Gilchrist said. “We’re still reeling as part of the long-term drought.”

He said there have been significant improvements in many counties during the last few months. Valley County and western Roosevelt County are still suffering with severe drought conditions. Precipitation was near normal in Montana and below normal in North Dakota.

During June, statewide temperatures were near average. North Dakota experienced above average temperatures.

Many areas were 3-5 degrees above normal temperatures during the month of July.

The extended drought outlook, through Oct. 31, anticipates drought to remain but conditions should improve in eastern Montana.

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