Spring weather can be highly variable and create a mix of avalanche problems to watch for. Snow conditions and snow stability can change drastically from day to day or hour to hour. Anticipate rapid change and plan accordingly. Plenty of snowfall over the winter with more spring snow to come makes avalanches possible into summer.
Unsettled weather beginning Wednesday brought a couple inches of snow to the mountains around Bozeman and Big Sky, with 5-10” near West Yellowstone and Cooke City. At lower elevations this precipitation fell as rain. Heavy snowfall is expected today around Bozeman and Big Sky with 4-8” falling by the end of the day. Only an inch or two will fall around West Yellowstone and Cooke City. Tomorrow will be sunny with temperatures above freezing. Sunday will be cloudy again with a sprinkling of snow possible.
Between Thursday night and Sunday morning, a large spring storm left 1-2 ft of fresh snow across most of the advisory area (Lionhead only received a few inches). The storm system moved out yesterday, with skies clearing and temperatures rising above freezing. Today will be mostly sunny with mountain temperatures in the 40s and 50s F. Clouds will move in for most of the rest of the week, but there will also be sunny periods mixed in. High temperatures will be in the 40s F. There are chances for light precipitation starting on Wednesday, but it won’t amount to more than a few inches of snow.
We are at the leading edge of a significant spring storm. Temperatures on Friday morning are in the 20s F with 5-15 mph winds from the west to southeast. Overnight, the mountains received 2-5” of snow except in the West Yellowstone area where precipitation began as rain. Snow and wintery weather will persist through Saturday night with high temperatures in the 30s F and 5-20 mph winds from the north to northwest. By Saturday night the mountains will receive 10-20” of new snow with areas like the Northern Gallatin Range potentially getting more. The sun will come out on Sunday with slightly warmer temperatures.
Since Friday the mountains near Cooke City got 13” of new snow, and near Bozeman, Big Sky and West Yellowstone got 4-6”. Temperatures reached mid 30s F on Saturday and high 20s F yesterday. Wind was west-southwest at 15-25 mph with gusts of 30-60 mph. Today under mostly sunny skies, temperatures will reach mid-40s F, and wind will be 5-25 mph out of the west-southwest. Wind will remain west-southwest through the week with periods of moderate to strong speeds. Temperatures will drop to the teens and 20s F most nights and during the day will reach mid-30s to low 40s F. Tomorrow there is a chance for 1-4” of snow with more possible Thursday night and Friday.
Since Monday, the mountains have received 1-1.5 ft of new snow. Winds have been strong and shifting, including some unusual east winds. Skies stayed mostly cloudy and high temperatures stayed below freezing. This weekend, skies will remain mostly cloudy, high temperatures will be a few degrees warmer (but still unseasonably cool), and snow showers are possible (particularly on Saturday night). Total accumulations will likely be only 2-4” by Monday.
On Monday morning, mountain temperatures are in the single digits to mid-teens F with west to southwest winds blowing 5-15 mph. Sunday night the mountains received 1-2” of new snow. A significant spring storm will move into Southwest Montana Monday afternoon through the middle of the week. Daily high temperatures will be in the teens to 20s F with 10-20 mph winds. The mountains will likely get 10-20” of snow through Wednesday when the storm lightens.
There is no new snow this morning. Winds are 10-15 mph out of the northwest and west with gusts to 30 mph. Temperatures are in the single digits and teens F. High temperatures will be in the 20s to low 30s F with partly sunny skies. Snow showers this afternoon won’t bring any significant accumulation. Moderate westerly winds will continue today. Snowfall tonight will bring a trace to 3” by tomorrow morning.
Yesterday’s temperatures of 40-60 F were only a brief preview of summer. The next week will be colder. This morning, temperatures cooled to high teens and low 30s F, and rain quickly turned to snow with 1” in the Bridger Range and none elsewhere so far. Wind is westerly at 15-20 mph with gusts to 45 mph. Today, under mostly cloudy skies, temperatures will be 20s to mid-30s F with westerly wind at 15-35 mph. Light snow this morning and tonight could add up to 1-3”, and more snow is expected tomorrow evening and Monday.
Temperatures are in the high 20s and low 30s F this morning. Skies are clear and winds are 10-20 mph out of the west. Mountain temperatures will climb into the 40s, 50s, and even low 60s F this afternoon. Moderate winds will shift slightly to the southwest. Tomorrow will be much cooler and cloudier with a chance for light snowfall.