Missoulaavalanche and the West Central Montana Avalanche Center are offering a unique education opportunity on January 21 from 6-8pm at the Trailhead, 221 Front St. in Missoula.

Avalanche Hazard and Weather Forecasting for Back-country Recreationists

A free presentation designed to improve your avalanche hazard and weather forecasting skills! Sponsored by Missoulaavalanche, the West Central Montana Avalanche Center and the Trailhead

The featured speakers will be  Lucas ZukiewiczSnow Hydrologist and Montana Snow Survey Program Manage with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Lee Ann Allegretto, Meteorologist and Avalanche Program Manager with the National Weather Service in Missoula.

With 90 measurement locations, the SNOwpack TELemetry (SNOTEL) system in Montana is a valuable asset for the winter backcountry enthusiast. How do you find and make sense of the information?  Zukiewicz will give a presentation on how to gather and interpret snowpack and weather information for conditions assessment and trip planning during winter months. The focus will be on how to find and interpret snowpack data via the SNOTEL system for winter users, but recreational users of all kinds can benefit from the information presented.

The National Weather Service in Missoula has a new, improved backcountry forecast program which provides more up-to-date data across western Montana. Allegretto will discuss means of using weather data for planning winter backcountry trips. She will offer unique ways of getting weather information; some of which are not always obvious. She will also discuss weather patterns that typically generate the best snowfall for our region, and answer any questions regarding the current winter season and how forecasts are generated.