It's important to keep track of how much snow is present in the mountains because spring and summer runoff has an impact on irrigation, fishing/guiding, wildfire tendencies, hydropower, flooding, and other aspects of life in western states. SNOTEL (SNOwpack TELemetry) sites are automated stations that measure how much snow has fallen in remote mountainous areas. The system is operated by the Natural Resource and Conservation Service.
SNOTEL data are used to make management decisions regarding reservoirs (flood control, etc.) - Click on the map to make it bigger, and you will see that there is A LOT of snow in the mountains of western Montana right now (April 4, 2014). CLICK HERE to learn more about the SNOTEL System, and then check out the Interactive Montana SNOTEL Map to find out how much snow exists at each site.
To view a convenient list of all the resources that have been posted on this "Earth Science Guy" blog site, CLICK HERE.