Snowmelt might not go where you think is goes - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Snowmelt might not go where you think it goes

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The past few days, much of Montana has warmed up to the mid-30s and 40s, and streets are slushy. But where does all the snowpack go when it melts?

Forecasters from the National Weather Service said a cold snap in the Great Falls area from December 29 through January 1 was the longest stretch of below zero temperatures in over 20 years. A freeze that long leaves a frost depth in the ground of 14 inches, forcing melted snow in another direction.

Jim Brusda, lead meteorologist for the National Weather Service Great Falls, said, "Most of the snow melt that's going to occur over the next few days is going to run off into small streams, creeks, and rivers. But it's going to take several weeks for all that frost to come from the ground, and we could have another cold snap in late January or February that could slow the process or actually reverse it."

It may be much closer to spring by the time the ground unthaws enough to see the benefits of the snow melt.

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