Up to 2 Inches of Rain Expected in Billings Area. Flooding Possible
- Hydrologic Outlook issued by NWS
- 1-2" of rain possible for Billings
- Over 2" for Eastern Montana is possible
Many Montanans in south-central areas of the state are a bit gun-shy about flooding this spring after a once-in-a-lifetime flood devastated communities from Gardiner to Red Lodge. Communities like Nye, Fromberg, and Absarokee also saw extensive damage and many trails have not been repaired yet on popular public land areas in the Custer National Forest.
The economic impact of the flood damage in these gateway towns made things difficult for many mom-and-pop Montana shops that already rely on a short burst of summer tourism. Last year, it was largely quashed by washed-out roads, campgrounds, and services in popular tourist destinations like Yellowstone National Park. Not to mention all the homeowners who lost residences or suffered flood damage.
Hopefully not a repeat of 2022.
The National Weather Service, Billings has issued a Hydrologic Outlook alert stating 1 - 2 inches of rain are likely in the Billings area from Wednesday evening through Friday. The higher elevation mountains may get 6 - 12" of snow. The expected combination of warm-ish temperatures and heavy rain at lower altitudes is uncomfortably similar to 2022. The NWS wrote,
Heavy rain could fall on existing snow in the foothills below 8 thousand feet, which could lead to even faster water rises. Where the heaviest precipitation falls will determine which rivers and streams see the most significant rises. At the moment, areas of the Beartooth and Red Lodge foothills, locations around the Pryor mountains, and areas of Yellowstone and Musselshell county, look like the most likely location for the heaviest rainfall, and therefore, the highest possibility of flooding.
As of Monday evening (5/8), KULR8 is reporting the heaviest rainfalls should occur from Billing to Sheridan eastward and in northeastern Montana. Over at Q2, they're predicting parts of Eastern Montana could get up to four inches of rain, with minimal chances of hail or extreme winds. Fingers crossed on the hail. And the flooding.