Weather Wise: a look at the Highway 200 avalanche

LINCOLN- KTVH Meteorologist Curtis Grevenitz visited the site of an avalanche that blocked a portion of Highway 200 west of Lincoln overnight from Friday into Saturday morning.

When the heavy wet snow from the storm released, it trapped a semi tractor-trailer.

Curtis says a major factor in the avalanche was wind loading the snow up the hill. For the avalanche to occur, the gravitational pull on the snow has to exceed the frictional force holding it down.

Avalanches can occur on many slopes, not just in steep, mountainous backcountry.

For the latest avalanche conditions across southwest Montana go the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center website. For avalanche conditions in western Montana go to the West Central Montana Avalanche Foundation’s website. Go to the Flathead Avalanche Center’s website for conditions in northwest Montana.