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May storm improves outlook, but drought concerns persist following warm, dry winter

Parts of Montana receive 10 inches of precipitation in early May

Last week's widespread, wet storm has brought a measure of relief to parts of Montana reeling from one of the driest winters on record, but water managers say it's too early to tell how much of that water will stick around to sustain streams, crops and forests through the hottest months of the year.

"I think it's fair to say that despite the pins and needles we've been on after that dry November and December, conditions this May are greatly improved from the last three [Mays]," said Michael Downey, the drought program coordinator with the state's Department of Natural Resources and Conservatio...