Regional Conditions for Centennial Range

as of 5:00 am
Today2″ | 10-20 SW
Mar 24 0″ | 10-20 N
Mar 23 0″ | 5-15 W
8775′     3/25 at 16:00
27 ℉
NW - 8 mph
Gusts 15 mph
7750′   03/25 at 16:00
34℉
96″ Depth
Bottom Line: This afternoon above freezing temperatures and sunshine will increase the possibility of wet snow avalanches. This morning, on mid-low elevation slopes and slopes that receive direct sun there is a stable, supportable frozen crust on the surface of a wet snowpack. On high elevation shady slopes the snowpack is dry and generally stable. Avoid steep slopes if the snow surface becomes wet and unsupportable, or if you sink above your boots in wet snow.

Snow Observations- Centennial Range & Lionhead

Centennial Range
Centennials - Montana
Hellroaring Drainage
Incident details include images

Shallow snowpack ~30", west facing terrain around 8200' is faceted except for the top 6 inches. We observed poor structure and fair to good strength due to a lack of distinct layering (its mostly facets top to bottom).

On an east facing slope at 8,300' we observed a slightly deeper snowpack, but still widespread faceting. Poor structure but good strength. During a pit test at this aspect we did not get propogation on any layers (on 1/5/19.) This was all before the most recent round of snowfall however, clearly the facets present a major persistent layer that will cause issues with increased loading.

Full Snow Observation Report
Centennial Range
Reas Peak
Snowmobile triggered avalanche near Reas Peak
Incident details include images

From e-mail:"a snowmobile triggered slide in a S aspect in the Blue Creek Drainage SE of Reas Peak in the Centennials.  No one was caught and no injuries "

Full Snow Observation Report
Centennial Range
Centennials - Montana
Hellroaring Drainage: Huge "Whumphs"
Incident details include images

I was in the Hellroaring Drainage Yesterday, snow depths below 7,000' hover around 18", around 8,000' snow depths increase significantly but are still shallow i.e. less than 30". Witnessed the largest "whoomphs" I have ever felt (that's saying something since last Decemeber/Jan was horrendous), interestingly much of this was felt returning on the same skin track, telling me this is a stubborn layer that may not give right away. The largest was a collapse in a meadow nearly 0.25 miles long.

Full Snow Observation Report
Centennial Range
Give us your observations!
Incident details include images

After last season's two snowmobiler avalanche fatalities on Reas Peak in the Centennial Range we created this web page so riders could get good, relevant information regarding snowpack and avalanches. Although the Centennial Range is not part of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center's forecast area, we are the closest avalanche center and have valuable information to share.

  • The snowpack in the Lionhead area outside West Yellowstone is typically very similar to the Centennial Range. When we issue Avalanche Warnings in Lionhead, the Centennials are also dangerous. Pictures, photos, and observations from the Lionhead area are windows into the conditions in the Centennials.
  • We designed this web page to be a one-stop-shop for anyone riding or skiing in the Centennials.
  • We need your observations to keep everyone safe. Fill out a form and let us know what you found and attach pictures or videos.
  • If you are riding in other parts of southeastern Idaho, go to avalanche.org and find the nearest avalanche center to get updated information. The snowpack and avalanche concerns in regions adjacent to avalanche centers are typically similar:
  • Another great resource for avalanche information can be found at the Adam Anderson Avalanche Project on Facebook.
  • Avalanche Education is paramount to making good decisions. All avalanche education in Idaho is listed HERE.
  • If you would like to sponsor a 1-hour avalanche awareness class for your store, club, or organization, drop us a line. We may be able to accommodate that.

Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or suggestions. This webpage is a work in progress. Email us at mtavalanche@gmail.com

We hope everyone has a safe season!

GNFAC Forecasters:

Doug Chabot
Alex Marienthal
Eric Knoff
Ian Hoyer

Full Snow Observation Report

Avalanche Activity- Centennial Range & Lionhead

Cooke City
COOKE CITY
Avalanches in new snow in Cooke City
Incident details include images
COOKE CITY
SS
Caught: 0 ; Buried: 0

These are observations from Doug Chabot's field trip on 3/8, Friday:

  1. One slide was triggered on a steep (40 deg) southeast facing slope at Round Lake outside Cooke City. It failed 8" deep on a layer of graupel and small facets. An adjacent hill slid at the same depth beforehand. This layer is not on most slopes, but as this slide shows it is on some. Doug was in the area and dug a pit in the crown soon after it was triggered.
  2. A slide under the cornice on the northeast face of Abundance looked to be 1 foot deep and 200' wide.
  3. A snowboarder reported triggering an 8" deep slab on the south face of Scotch Bonnett in one of the Rasta's.

More Avalanche Details

Photos- Centennial Range & Lionhead

Displaying 41 - 46 of 46
  • From email: "7,500' West facing in the Hellroaring Drainage 12/22/18"

    Photo: S. Hansen

  • A skier reported a recent slab avalanche at Ernest Miller in the southern Madison. This is a good reminder that as you move further south in our advisory area, we are seeing a thinner and generally less stable snowpack. Photo: C. Grote

  • The Lionhead area near West Yellowstone has the shallowest and weakest snowpack in our forecast region. The bottom half of the pack consists of weak, sugary facets. This well developed weak layer produced unstable results in stability tests on any slope that had wind drifted snow. With more snow and wind in the forecast, this area will experience increasingly unstable conditions. Photo GNFAC  

  • Yesterday at Lionhead Ridge near West Yellowstone we found a shallow and weak snowpack. A foot of weak, sugary snow on the ground will create unstable conditions where it is buried by thick drifts of snow, and when the area gets more snow later this week. Photo: GNFAC

  • Snow water equivalent at SNOTEL stations in the GNFAC advisory areas for the 18-19 season to date. Weak layers formed on the surface of the snowpack during the dry weather (flat section of lines), then they were buried by the recent 10-14" of snow (steep increase at end of graph). Image: GNFAC

  • From an email:

    "By and large right side up snowpack. Some small facets below the 11/1 ice crust at the ground, but well bonded snowpack overall. Pit observations consistent with hand pits dug throughout the day touring north out of Bridger Bowl." Photo: M. Zia

Videos- Centennial Range & Lionhead

Weather Forecast- Centennial Range

Extended Forecast for

10 Miles ESE Lakeview MT

Flood Advisory until March 27, 05:45pm
Click here for hazard details and duration
Flood Advisory
  •  
    Flood Advisory until March 27, 05:45pm

    NOW until
    5:45pm Wed

    Flood Advisory

  • Tonight

    Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 24. South wind 11 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

    Mostly Cloudy

    Low: 24 °F

  • Tuesday

    Tuesday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38. Breezy, with a south wind 11 to 16 mph increasing to 18 to 23 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 28 mph.

    Partly Sunny
    then Mostly
    Cloudy and
    Breezy

    High: 38 °F

  • Tuesday
    Night

    Tuesday Night: A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly after midnight.  Mostly cloudy, with a low around 28. Southeast wind 10 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.  Little or no snow accumulation expected.

    Chance Snow

    Low: 28 °F

  • Wednesday

    Wednesday: A 40 percent chance of snow.  Cloudy, with a high near 38. South wind 10 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.  New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

    Chance Snow

    High: 38 °F

  • Wednesday
    Night

    Wednesday Night: Snow.  Low around 29. South wind 11 to 15 mph becoming east in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 18 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

    Snow

    Low: 29 °F

  • Thursday

    Thursday: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times.  High near 32. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.

    Heavy Snow

    High: 32 °F

  • Thursday
    Night

    Thursday Night: Snow, mainly before midnight.  Low around 24. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Snow then
    Chance Snow

    Low: 24 °F

  • Friday

    Friday: A chance of snow.  Mostly cloudy, with a high near 30.

    Chance Snow

    High: 30 °F

The Last Word

Spring is here and wet snow avalanches are becoming a daily concern. Anticipate decreasing stability while forming a travel plan. This article from Backcountry Magazine highlights some things look for that indicate when it is time to turn around.


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