The Missoula rivers are high, fast and cold
National Weather Service meteorologist Jen Kitzmiller told KGVO News on Tuesday that temperatures could be very different in the coming days.
“We kind of continue to ride the weather rollercoaster so to speak,” Kitzmiller said. “Today we are looking at highs in the 50s. By Friday we will be looking at highs in the 90s. So a good warm up ahead with this high pressure ridge building. dry, so we will reduce the humidity, which is good news for our rivers in general, but we will continue to do so, with these warming temperatures, melting and snows.
Missoula may not experience flooding anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean the rivers are the safest place right now.
“Rivers in the area at this time around the Missoula Valley area should continue to flow high and fast,” Kitzmiller said. “For the next few days, we don’t really expect any impacts as far as flooding goes, but these rivers are going to keep flowing high, fast and cold. That’s another thing to keep in mind. Anyone considering to recreate should know that with these water temperatures, it doesn’t take long for hypothermia to set in.
According to Kitzmiller, there is still an abnormal amount of moisture in the upper part at this time.
“We’re still running with more humidity than we would typically expect at this time of year remaining in the snowpack,” Kitzmiller said. “It’s mainly at altitude. You have to get above 6000 feet before there’s still a lot of lingering snow. We are above normal for this time of year. We are operating at around 240% of normal for where we would normally be at this time of year.
Kitzmiller said another wet weather system could arrive next week and that could cause problems, but it’s too early to tell right now.
“I think it’s worth keeping an eye out for early next week,” Kitzmiller said. “We are seeing indications of another wet weather system coming in and depending on where that ends it could bring another round of precipitation. If it were to happen in that general vicinity, it could possibly cause problems, but there are still question marks over where these weather systems will move. I think for now it’s just kind of a watch and see how things develop.”
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