Lots of fresh snow with more to come today, combined with an unstable snowpack AND heavy winds is yet again creating very dangerous conditions in the backcountry of southwest Montana. Details are here of a new Avalanche Warning.
A very large portion of Montana is under a High Wind Warning or Winter Storm Warning through Monday afternoon. Seriously gusty winds of up to 70 MPH are expected across most of southwest, central, western and northern Montana. Power outages are very possible and damage to trees is expected.
Snow will continue to fall across most of Montana through at least Friday morning. Higher elevations are getting lots of snow, while the valleys are seeing less but frequent light snowfalls. Thursday night is expected to bring lots more snow, along with some wind.
The higher elevations of Montana could see well over a foot of fresh snow by Friday. Most counties have a storm warning or watch in effect, and the valleys are expected to get 5" to 10" inches as well. Travel may become a serious issues during this storm.
Skiing and riding at resorts is fine, but Tuesday is NOT the day to explore the new snow in the backcountry near Bozeman and other areas of southwest Montana. Avalanche danger is extremely high, and the risk of triggering a huge slide is very real.
Lots of mountain snow is falling in Montana, which is great news. Montana is still very far behind normal average snowpack levels and drought concerns are still big. Towns and valleys can expect some snow, but high elevations across Montana are expecting 4" to 8" of fresh snow, with up to a foot in some locations.
The mountains of western Montana might score 8 to 10 inches of fresh snow by Sunday afternoon. Warnings and advisories have been issued for just about every western county, but some higher elevations might receive nearly a foot of snow.