The Montana Climate Office hopes to address climate needs addressed in the State Water Plan.
Montana is known for its clean, available water. Water powers everything from mining to tourism in this state. In recent years, water availability has become more uncertain, making it challenging for businesses to make investment decisions and putting many state-wide industries at risk. With temperatures on the rise and mountain snow packs on the decline, Montanans need good predictive tools on water availability. The more than 29,000 farmers in the state need precision when deciding how much wheat to plant or railcars to reserve. A fishing guide on the Madison River needs to know how the river’s going to flow next year so she can start booking clients. Industries in every corner of the state need consistent access to information on ground and surface water to supply their mills and refineries. The Montana Climate Office is integrating climate information into the Montana Water Information System and collaborating with other scientist and resource managers within the state to better understand our available water supply and means to quickly assess any changes in that availability.
The data (download) for this plot was obtained from NOAA's National Climate Data Center (NCDC). NCDC recently switched to a more sophisticated method for generating the climate division dataset: Vose, R.S., Applequist, S., Durre, I., Menne, M.J., Williams, C.N., Fenimore, C., Gleason, K., Arndt, D. 2014: Improved Historical Temperature and Precipitation Time Series For U.S. Climate Divisions Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JAMC-D-13-0248.1