Thursday, March 9, 2017

Thursday's avalanche advisory: High danger

Posted By on Thu, Mar 9, 2017 at 8:02 AM

From the West Central Montana Avalanche Center: An avalanche warning is in effect for the west central Montana backcountry. The current avalanche danger is HIGH. Very dangerous avalanche conditions are present. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended today. Human triggered avalanches are very likely, and natural avalanches are likely. Avoid runout zones.
click to enlarge high-extreme-450.png

Good morning, this is Travis Craft with an avalanche warning for March 09, 2017. This avalanche warning will expire at 0600 am on March 10, 2017. The warning will be extended or terminated at that time.

This danger rating does not apply to operating ski areas and is the sole responsibility of the U.S. Forest Service.

For the full advisory including photos and video, head over to the avalanche center's website.

Curious what conditions will be like heading into the weekend? Here's what the National Weather Service's backcountry forecast has to say:

Widespread light snow down to 1500 feet this morning will slowly rise throughout today, particularly for all ranges south of I-90.

Significant heavy snow remains in the forecast for northwest Montana ranges, particularly in the vicinity of Glacier Park, this evening through Friday. An arctic airmass will move west of the Continental Divide today and stall along the Canada border today. The stalled edge of the arctic air will be a focal point for periods of intense snowfall. Up to 2 feet accumulation is expected along the Continental Divide. The arctic air will slowly retreat east late tonight, with snow levels and snow density increasing over time (i.e., upside down snow pack). Wind will also be a factor right along the Continental Divide, where east winds gusting to 30 mph will transport fresh snow to west facing slopes. Large fluctuations in temperatures will add to dangerously variable backcountry travel conditions.

Conditions for backcountry travel improve this weekend with high pressure overhead, however it is not necessarily a dry forecast. Snow levels will increase substantially through the weekend, reaching 5000 feet at times. Additional storm systems will bring more snow, mostly above 5000 feet, through the next week. Mountain snow pack will continue to steadily increase.

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