Expert on warm, dry temps: 'It's not looking too optimistic for much of a pattern change'

(Sheridan, Wyo.) — We've been seeing prolonged temperatures of 40, 50 and 60 degrees in our area this winter, and we wondered, what will the longterm impact be? We asked Tom Frieders, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service of Billings, some questions, and here is what he had to say. *Dally: Do the high temperatures mean things will be hotter and drier this summer?* *Frieders:* The short term impacts don't necessarily play a role in how the summer will go, but there are certainly concerns. Right now, snowpack into the Bighorn Mountains is at or new record low levels for this time of year, currently running about 65 percent of normal. *Dally: What about the potential for springtime flooding? If there isn't much snowpack to melt, could perhaps that mean there won't be as bad of flooding?* *Frieders:* Our outlook into the spring is for a continued trend toward warmer and drier than normal conditions. If this should occur, the area will see an earlier spring runoff and below normal streamflows. *Frieders: *While it is way to early too determine at this point, we will be monitoring these drier conditions in both the lower and higher elevations, which could spell in an increased fire danger. We still have about 30-40 percent of our spring snow season left into May, so things can change. *Frieders:* For the lower elevations, April and May are typically our wettest months. With that said, it's not looking too optimistic for much of a pattern change. #dally #news