Monday, January 22, 2018

Record rainfall

Once the rain started falling, it didn’t stop for nearly three days, setting at least two records.
And that’s good news for dry conditions that have already seen one large wildfire.
Columbus received 1.43 inches of rain on Sunday alone, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The three-day for Saturday, Sunday and Monday total hit 2.54 inches. The .89 inches that fell on May 16 as well as Sunday’s totals were record setting, said NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Tom Frieders.
At Mystic Lake, the three-day rain total for Friday, Saturday and Sunday was 1.87 inches. Saturday saw the heaviest precipitation of those three days with 1.16 inches.
Frieders said that areas from Reed Point to Rapelje got in on the greatest rainfall, with some three to four-inch totals.
“We are in our wettest time of year (May and June), so this was timely rain to help green things up and alleviate fire concerns for now,” said Frieders. “We also had a good capacity for water in our streams and rivers, so while there were rises, no flooding occurred.”
Cooler temps
In Columbus, the average daily high of 60.2 degrees is 9.4 degrees cooler than normal. The daily reading of 48.5 degrees is 5.7 degrees cooler than normal.
At Mystic Lake, the average daily high of 51.7 degrees is down 6.7 degrees from normal. The daily reading of 41.8 degrees is 5.9 degrees cooler than normal.
And in Rapelje, the average daily high of 60.9 degrees was 6.8 degrees cooler than normal while the daily average reading of 49.2 degrees is 4 degrees cooler than normal.
Moisture Status
As of May 6, Stillwater County was classified as being “slightly dry” according to the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Only six counties were classified as being “moderately dry.” Those six were Beaverhead, Madison, Gallatin, Rosebud, Custer and Prairie.
Weekend Forecast
As of early Wednesday, the forecast called for partly sunny skies and a high of 66 degrees and a 20 percent chance of rain showers Thursday night. Friday’s high is expected to be near 65 degrees with a 40 percent of showers, continuing through Saturday and inching up to a 50 percent of showers Saturday night and Sunday. Memorial Day should bring a high of 67 degrees and a 30 percent chance of rain, according to the NWS.