Scientists project warmer springs in Montana

Just as is the case for the wider American West, springtime temperatures are projected to increase in Montana in the coming century, continuing a trend already underway. Climate Central scientists have taken data from climate models and converted them into animated maps illustrating some of the projections under two scenarios — high vs. low greenhouse emissions. The animations show that as time goes on, more and more of Montana will have an average March temperature above freezing, particularly under the high emissions scenario.

This continues a pattern that has already been observed in Montana over the past half-century or so, during which March temperatures have risen sharply and there has been less snow generally and what snow does accumulate is melting earlier Among the consequences for the state have been a reduction in late-summer stream flow, and, along with other Western states, an increase in insect epidemics harmful to forests. All of these trends are likely to worsen with rising temperatures.