Wettest June on Record in Parts of Northwest Montana

By JUSTIN FRANZ.

A series of strong thunderstorms on June 26 brought high water and marble-sized hail to parts of Northwest Montana and downed trees and power lines. The storms were the last act of the region’s wettest June on record.

While much of the state has been drying out with some areas experiencing wildfires, a series of storms off the Pacific Ocean dumped a record amount of water on Northwest Montana, according to the National Weather Service’s Mark Loeffelbein. Data gathered at Glacier Park International Airport show 6.9 inches of rain fell during the month of June, about 3.92 inches above average. Until this year, the wettest June on record was in 2005 when 5.6 inches of rain fell.

Flathead River aerial view

An aerial photo of the Flathead River just north of MT Highway 35. – Lido Vizzutti/Flathead Beacon

Loeffelbein said the weather was expected to get much drier in the coming weeks and attributed the wet June mostly to a handful of rainstorms that produced up to a half-inch of rain each time. On June 26, a series of storms stretching from the Missoula area to the Canadian border pummeled the area with rain and the National Weather Service in Missoula placed both Flathead and Lincoln counties under a flood watch.

“We’re going to have to keep an eye on things, even as we enter July and exit our normal flood season,” Ray Nickless, a hydrologist with Missoula’s National Weather Service, said.