Montana Public Radio


West Central Montana Avalanche Center

Two of three Montana men back-country snowmobiling in the Dinah Lake area Wednesday northwest of Seeley Lake were buried under several feet of heavy, wet snow. Their surviving friend was able to dig himself out of the avalanche and call for help. 

An avalanche left more than a dozen bicyclists trapped for hours on Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun road Monday. Crews worked to plow through the snow and get the bikers to safety.

Dangerously Cold Temperatures Forecast For Western Montana
National Weather Service Missoula

Missoula National Weather Service Meteorologist Corby Dickerson sums up Montana’s winter of 2018/2019 this way.

"We started off the winter a little slow, then we accelerated. And then this month of February, historic in many ways, has been like we just slammed on the gas pedal and said, 'What spring? What mid-winter thaw?'.

An avalanche slide on Mount Jumbo in Missoula, Feb. 28, 2019.
Courtesy William Marcus

An avalanche warning is posted for one of the two mountains overlooking the city of Missoula.

"We’re seeing dangerous avalanche conditions and a snowpack that we see nowhere else in our advisory area," says Travis Craft, the director of the West Central Montana Avalanche Center which is evaluating snowpack on Missoula’s Mount Jumbo.

Official NWS forecast Feb. 14, 2019.
Weather Forecast Office Missoula, MT.

All westbound lanes of Interstate 90 between St. Regis and the state line at Lookout Pass are now reopened for traffic.

Multiple avalanches and the threat of more slides disrupted highway traffic along that 34 miles stretch of critical highway since Wednesday afternoon.

An image detailing the bathtub of weak snow layers around Dickey Creek in the Flathead Range on Jan. 15, 2019.

The Flathead Avalanche Center has issued an avalanche watch through Saturday for several mountain ranges in Northwest Montana.

The backcountry avalanche watch issued Thursday morning warns of high avalanche danger Friday and Saturday in the Swan, Whitefish and Flathead Ranges and Glacier National Park.

Two Medicine restroom nearly completely covered in snow the first week of April, 2018. This winter brought record, or near record, snowfall to parts of northwest Montana.
National Park Service

Glacier National Park plow crews are dealing with massive amounts of snow and it’s still falling. Plow crews working in Two Medicine on Glacier’s east side are clearing some snow drifts that are 15 to 20 feet deep.

An arctic cold front is pushing into western Montana, bringing with it a wintery mix of snow, wind and bitterly cold temperatures.
National Weather Service Missoula, MT.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Kitsmiller reports temperatures in parts of western Montana climbed into the 50s  Thursday afternoon.

"Which kind of makes you wonder what month it is," Kitsmiller says. "If you are wondering, you probably won’t be tomorrow morning when we’re sitting in the 20s."

Reviewing Avalanche Safety With 'Field Notes'

A Missoula man was killed by an avalanche outside of West Yellowstone in Idaho Saturday.

Snow, ice and blowing snow are creating dangerous travel conditions in parts of western Montana.
National Weather Service Missoula.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for parts of western Montana this afternoon where snowfall and low temperatures are creating slippery road conditions.

What: Snow, moderate to heavy for brief periods, on top freezing roads will produce treacherous road conditions. Plan on difficult travel conditions. Additional snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches are expected.