Snow Continues, Backcountry Avalanche Danger Is Serious

Posted at 6:36 PM, Jan 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-17 20:43:48-05

Thursday’s snow was just the tip of the iceberg, as a series of storms will produce snow and wind through the holiday weekend and into next week.  A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY continues for much of the state into Friday morning, as accumulation will continue to the tune of a couple additional inches overnight.  A BACKCOUNTRY AVALANCHE WATCH has been issued for the mountains of northwest Montana, while an AVALANCHE WARNING is in effect for the southwestern mountains.  Avalanche danger throughout Montana’s mountains remains very high, and with heavy snow and wind this weekend the avalanche danger will remain extreme.  If you’re a skier or snowboarder, stay in the resorts this weekend.  If you’re a snowmobiler, use ultimate caution and stay in the low angle terrain.  Snow will taper off by Friday afternoon.  Highs will be in the 10s in northeast Montana, 20s in central areas, 30s in western Montana.  Saturday, a new storm will move just to the north of Montana.  This will bring snow to the mountains but wind and relative warmth to the lower elevations.  Highs in the valleys and plains will be in the 40s with wind speeds between 20-50mph.  Sunday, another storm will move in with snow developing through the afternoon across much of the state.  That snow will be moderate to heavy Sunday night into Monday.  This system could produce the greatest snow accumulations with 3-6″ in the lower elevations, and 8-16″ in the mountains.  Monday will also have difficult travel for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Another storm will move through Tuesday and Wednesday with more snow and wind.  After a quiet start to January, Montana is making up for it in a big way over the next week.

Stay tuned for updates to the forecast.

Curtis Grevenitz