So far this year, Montana has been blessed with ample rains and ideal growing conditions. Although we're still a few weeks from the grain and pulse crop harvest, producers all across the Treasure State are well into the first cutting of their hay crop.

According to the most recent USDA Crop Progress Report, the first cutting of alfalfa hay is at 32 percent. This is slightly below the five-year average of 39 percent. The other hay category is currently at 34 percent, compared to the five-year average of 39 percent.

Montana Weekend Weather Forecast

Initially, forecast models were trending toward a few storms this weekend. However, the latest models are anticipating drier conditions for much of Montana. This weekend, a weak weather disturbance passing through the state may kick off a few storms throughout Western and Southwestern Montana. However, the majority of the state is anticipated to stay dry, with temperatures trending into the low 80s for most.

The Driving Force Behind Our Recent Weather

There's been a lot of talk about the transitions from La Nino to El Nino this year. This shift in sea surface temperatures impacts our weather, but the more significant impact recently has come from the ocean temperature off of the California Coast. This region's fluctuation of sea surface temperatures is called the Pacific Meridional Mode. We're in a negative phase, meaning there are cooler waters off the California Coast.


So What Does This Mean?

As long as we hang onto this pocket of colder water, we'll continue to see a greater Monsunal flow of moisture. This will lead to scattered showers every few days and slightly cooler temperatures. Don't worry; we're not talking about enough rain to mess up your harvest!

10 Helpful Montana Weather Terms You Need to Know

Weather in Montana can be unpredictable. Here are 10 weather terms that you need to know.

Great Montana Weather Scenery

Various weather pictures from around Montana

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