Good morning, this is Travis Craft with an early season snowpack and avalanche update.

Weather and Snowpack

Mountain temperatures are 12 F to 24 F this morning.  In the northern part of the advisory area winds are 17 mph out of the west with gusts of 27 mph.  The southern area winds are coming out of the WSW at 6 mph with gusts of 10 mph.  Snotels are reporting 5 to 12 new inches of snow in the last 24 hours.

This new loading on top of the existing poor structure of our snowpack will make it very reactive.  In the last 48 hours we have had reports of natural avalanches near St. Mary’s peak and a slide triggered on Little St Joe in the Bitterroot.  Also, a public observation from the Rattlesnake showing instabilities.  The snowpack needs some time to adjust to the new snow.  With more loading from snow and wind on the poor structure of the snowpack we will see the avalanche danger rise.  I would be very cautious traveling in avalanche terrain and make very conservative decisions.

We will issue our first advisory with an adjatiave rating on Thursday, December 15 2016.

We have many upcoming events check our education page for listings. Also if you are out recreating in the backcountry, please send us your observations these are very helpful in producing the advisory.

Ski and ride safe.