snowpack

Hyalite Creek flows down the canyon.

The snow year was off at a strong gait this year but lost steam in December, but it’s still early, according to the federal Natural Resource and Conservation Service.

 October and November had strong precipitation in the mountains, but December saw 44% to 67% of normal for the Gallatin River Basin, the agency reported.

“October 1st through January 1st aren’t the big months for precipitation in the ranges feeding the Gallatin, but the deficits from December bear mentioning,” NRCS water specialist Lucas Zukiewicz. “... the January 1st snowpack reports are more of a progress report than a report card.”

Right now, the basin is 93% of normal and 108% of last year, the agency reported. Broken down, the upper Gallatin is 83% of normal and 85% of last year; Hyalite is 111% of normal and 122% of last year; and the Bridgers are 94% of average and 108% of last year.

“There’s still time to recover from the ‘D’ecember, and current wetter weather patterns are forecasted to persist in early January,” Zukiewicz said.

The whole state is 89% of normal.