Western Montana received our first significant mountain snowfall this week and it is starting to look like winter has arrived for good at the higher elevations. This is Steve Karkanen with an early season avalanche information update from the West Central Montana Avalanche Center.

While the valleys received a light dusting, the mountains picked up enough snow to start forming a base. A snapshot of 4 SNOTEL sites shows Saddle Mountain with 12″, Twin Lakes 6″, Stuart Peak 9″. It looks like the snow near Hoodoo already melted off after accumulating about 4″.  It’s cold enough and the sun angle low enough that much of what we see in the higher mountains should remain for the winter.

We are currently planning for the 2015-2016 winter and have a few changes to make you aware of. We are adding another advisory day so our scheduled days will be changing. We will be issuing advisories on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings this winter. We feel that this spreads our coverage out a little better particularly for the weekend period.

Travis Craft and Logan King will be writing and posting the advisories this year with assistance from Dudley and I.  Brian Martens will again be working with local schools, the UM and other groups interested in introductory avalanche safety information and field training.  Send an email to us at [email protected]ulaavalanche.org if you are interested in what we have available for your organization.

We plan to start regular advisories in mid-December with earlier information updates as conditions change.