Good morning. This is Alex Marienthal with the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Forecast on Saturday, April 9th at 6:45 a.m. This information is sponsored by Uphill Pursuits and FUGOWEE Snowmobile Club. This forecast does not apply to operating ski areas.
Yesterday’s temperatures of 40-60 F were only a brief preview of summer. The next week will be colder. This morning, temperatures cooled to high teens and low 30s F, and rain quickly turned to snow with 1” in the Bridger Range and none elsewhere so far. Wind is westerly at 15-20 mph with gusts to 45 mph. Today, under mostly cloudy skies, temperatures will be 20s to mid-30s F with westerly wind at 15-35 mph. Light snow this morning and tonight could add up to 1-3”, and more snow is expected tomorrow evening and Monday.
Today, cold temperatures, cloudy skies and no more than a couple inches of new snow make avalanches unlikely. If you plan to travel in steep terrain follow safe travel protocols in case you find an isolated unstable slope. Ride one at a time on steep slopes and carry proper avalanche rescue gear. Before skiing or riding steep slopes, dig a couple feet into the snow and look for buried weak layers, unstable drifts of snow, or signs that the snowpack did not refreeze well.
Yesterday’s sunshine and hot temperatures melted the top of the snowpack on most slopes and made it wet and weak. Skiers in the Beartooths, outside the advisory area, watched a natural wet loose avalanche relatively early in the day (details). Today the snowpack will be mostly re-frozen and stable. In places that temperatures were slower to cool or are still above freezing, watch for a wet and unsupportable snow surface which indicates you might be able to trigger a wet snow avalanche. Wet snow hazard will decrease today with temperatures near freezing and below. There may be an isolated instability on the highest, shady slopes where it was cold enough that the upper snowpack stayed mostly dry yesterday. In these areas watch for slabs of drifted snow that formed earlier in the week (photo, photo, photo), and look for weak snow buried 1-3 feet deep.
Avalanches are unlikely today, and the avalanche danger is LOW.
Our last daily forecast will be issued tomorrow. During the rest of April we will issue weather and avalanche updates Monday and Friday. Please continue sending us your observations. You can submit them via our website, email (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone (406-587-6984), or Instagram (#gnfacobs).
Our final daily avalanche forecast of the 2021-22 season will be this Sunday, April 10th. Thank you to everyone who has followed the forecasts, submitted field observations and donated to the Friends of the Avalanche Center. We are grateful to be a part of your winter. We will continue to provide avalanche updates every Monday and Friday through April.