Snotel sites in the Kootenai Region are reporting close to two feet of new snow loading since February 3rd, according to the forecast there is substantially more on the way. This new snow has fallen on a number of surfaces that will result in poor bonding. Crusts from the last warm period, followed by surface hoar that developed during the cold, clear and calm conditions conditions last week and a rapid loading of new snow will set the stage for VERY DANGEROUS AVALANCHE CONDITIONS. Conditions are such that we may see many naturally triggered avalanches in the mountains this week.
Backcountry travelers should avoid playing on or below any steep slopes until this new snow has had ample time to settle. A quick look at the mountain weather forecast below indicates that this may be a good time to stay out of the mountains and instead practice your shoveling techniques at home.
Join us at the Lakeside Inn in Trout Creek at 6 PM on February 7th for a 2 hour talk on avalanche rescue and recovery.
If you are out and about please submit your avalanche observations by clicking the button to the left.
Check out the avalanche conditions in the Panhandle at http://www.idahopanhandleavalanche.org/current-advisory.html for conditions across the border.
Backcountry Forecast from NWS Missoula issued:
230 PM MST Sat Feb 4 2017
DISCUSSION: Impressive snowfall amounts have already been reported
across western Montana and north central Idaho Friday. Additional
light to moderate snow will occur today into Sunday, with another
round of prolonged intense heavy snow Sunday night through Monday.
In fact, several feet of snow is still expected for the terrain
along the Idaho/Montana border, including the Clearwaters,
Bitterroots, and the Kootenai, as well as northwest Montana
mountain ranges. The Whitefish, Glacier, JFS Canyon region,
Mission, and Swan mountains will be hit continuously with heavy,
dense snow during this time. Snowfall rates of 2 inches an hour
will be common. In addition, increasing north to northeast winds
will occur, causing further degradation of conditions.
Our confidence remains very high in the snowfall amounts being
forecast now through Monday. Confidence is moderate-to-high that
blizzard conditions are going to be a real concern Sunday night
through Monday in northwest Montana, making backcountry
--------------------------- 5000-7000 FT ----------------------------
Tonight Sun Sun Night Mon
Cloud Cover 100% 100% 100% 100%
Hi/Lo Temps 21 to 28 27 to 32 8 to 22 14 to 27
Winds(mph) SW 17G45 SW 12G33 SE 9G21 E 12G25
Precip Chc 100 100 100 100
Precip Type snow snow snow snow
Liquid Amt 0.41 0.52 0.83 0.81
Snow Ratio(SLR) 15:1 16:1 18:1 20:1
Snow Amt(in) 5-8 7-11 12-16 14-18
Snow Level 1500 2000 1000 0
This advisory applies only to backcountry areas outside established ski area boundaries. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This advisory expires midnight on the posted day unless otherwise noted. The information in this advisory is provided by the USDA Forest Service who is solely responsible for its content.