For a lot of us in Bozeman, the last thing you want to wake up to in the middle of April is six inches of snow on the ground. While the idea of a big powder dump excites probably more people in this town than it bums out, it is still a bit of a let down after some warmer days in the 60s and 70s.
But it still just April in Montana. We could legitimately continue to see weather like this for a couple more months. If you don’t like it, wait a few days and it will completely change again. That’s just spring in the mountains.
While the roads are messy and you have to dig to find that winter coat again, just keep in mind that if there’s 6-8 inches of snow in town that means there is probably feet up in the mountains. These spring snow storms often have a much higher water content than winter powder which is the best for building up a viable snowpack for the rivers.
With the warm and mild winter this year our snowpack isn’t what it could be. It certainly isn’t what it was last year. This means that runoff won’t last as long (it could even be early this year…), and it means that the late summer could potentially have some water issues. So the more spring storms like this we get, the better off we’ll be in August. Every little bit helps.
If a spring snow storm happens to fall during a day you were planning on going fishing, go anyway. Bundle up, wear a good rain jacket (these wet spring snows have a tendency to soak through most stuff) and go brave the weather. Odds are you won’t see anyone else out there and the fishing will be pretty good. And like I said, give it a few days and it’ll change again.
The late season snows are kind of a pain when all you want to see is green grass and blue skies. As you’re carefully driving through the slush on the roads just keep in mind that it’s water for the summer. Dress warm and drive safe.