With the heavy rain that Missoula has received over the past 24 hours, there has been some concern that rivers might have more water overflowing their banks, but the National Weather Service says not necessarily.

Meteorologist Alex Lukenbeal explains.

“The good news with this rain we’re seeing today is that the temperatures have cooled quite a bit,” said Lukenbeal. “We’re seeing snow falling roughly above 7,000 feet this afternoon and we’ll continue to see some light to moderate rain in the valleys into the evening. Then, heading into tonight the snow levels will keep falling down to near 5,500 feet.”

So, what’s the good news?

“The good news is that the snow melt that has caused the rivers to start rising recently has been mainly in the upper elevations above 6,500 feet, so these cooler temperatures are slowing the rate of snow melt in the higher elevations,” he said. “This rain is leading to a gradual rise in the rivers, but it’s not heavy enough to cause a significant rise in the rivers. Temperatures will be somewhat cooler next week so the rivers will start to gradually come back down.”

As of late Friday afternoon, the Flood Warning on the Clark Fork River is continued, and there is still a Flood Watch for the Bitterroot River in Missoula.

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