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GREAT FALLS — Montana's snowpack in January measured 15 percent above average and 53 percent higher than last year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service also says that early and consistent snowfall has raised hopes for good stream flows this summer in the state's major rivers.

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Hydrologist Scott Oviatt tells the Great Falls Tribune that most of the state's in-flow stream runoff comes from snow in the mountains and rain in the spring.

Officials say the St. Mary and Milk River Basin had a snowpack in January that was 55 percent above average and 61 percent more than last year.

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