It rained most of the night in our valley, but when the National Weather Service (NOAA) site read this morning; “…SNOWFALL RATES OF 2-3 INCHES AN HOUR FOR SEVERAL HOURS IS EXPECTED FROM MID MORNING THROUGH EARLY AFTERNOON… SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: 8 TO 14 INCHES ABOVE 4500 FEET…” I took it as invitation to go see and thought Forest Service road 1025 to Corona Divide would be my best chance to get above 4,500 feet.
At 5,000 feet the footing seemed to be pretty loose for the Jeep. When I stopped, I could see that because the snow was quite wet and easily packed, my tires were actually packing it as I drove and were riding on top of about 4 inches of packed snow. Going further would best be done on foot. There was a total of about 8 inches there. A mile further at the Divide and 5,200 feet the snow depth was about 12 inches. Pretty good forecast!
Simply beautiful. Well done for getting out there and recording it! I’m glad your snow has finally arrived. Incidentally we have about an inch of snow this morning – hardly anything, but enough to throw the M8 (main route from Edinburgh to Glasgow) into chaos!
The new snow was so pretty, and I know it is still snowing up there! THinking about that will make it pleasant to go to sleep tonight.
I refuse to understand how inclement weather and slippery roads cause so much chaos. They are not completely new or surprising conditions; why cannot people accept them as realities and act accordingly!
There actually are a couple of reasons for the traffic chaos. Down here, if we get drizzle or light rain after a long dry spell, the roads can be slick as ice from the oily deposits on them. A good rain will wash them off, but until then it’s a mess. People get surprised by such “ice-like” conditions when there’s no real weather. As for snow and ice – well, a lot of people never have seen the stuff and haven’t a clue. Of course: stupidity plays into it. I’ve been driving in fog and passed by people going 60 or 70. There’s no reason for that, and it’s the reason for so many pile-ups.
I remember the oil drip problem on the roads in the Phoenix area too. People here get into the most trouble with “black ice” which is a coating of clear ice on an otherwise bare road. It appears black like the rest of the roadway. Those accidents are more severe too because people think the road is clear and are driving faster than they would on snow. Even when I drive a fire engine of crash truck I periodically slowed way down and tested the road for ice and when the weather conditions were ripe for black ice always drove slower. I responded to dozens of crashes on terrible roads without a problem on my behalf. No if everyone would act that way…
Hurray for you. We are at 65 this morning, and it’s just after 7 am. Although it did get down to 16 last Tuesday morning. I’ll take it when I can get it. I agree with your comments on driving in the weather. Having grown up with driving in the snow, it’s not a big deal to drive safely and properly. But out here, and also in NC where my son was stationed at, the whole state shuts down for half an inch of the white stuff. I will concede, that there is more ice, and ice is something you don’t mess with and come out winning. Thank you for sharing your snow with us. :)
Up here everything depends on a good snowpack in the high country because we have very dry summers. I like snow for many reasons among which is that it is really warm when it is snowing and a foot on the roof is excellent insulation.
Most years one couldn’t drive up that far because the road would have been so icy after the snow was packed down and iced from the hunter traffic. This time the roads were just wet until the snow covered them and it is deep enough that there will be only snowmobile traffic now until spring. None of the forest roads are maintained in winter here.
More testimony to you being waaaaay in the back country there. And did you say that you do or do not have a snow-mobile for getting around when the roads are like this…or is the snow too deep for them (if that’s possible…I’m rather ignorant about the capabilities of such machines)?
I do not have a snowmobile. Can’t justify the expense or the maintenance on one because I would use it so infrequently. I am planning to see if I can find one for rent for a few days this winter though so I can get to a couple of the high elevation trail heads to do some snow shoeing. In general I am opposed to them on account of the noise and the fact that so many people who have them abuse the forests with them and provide unrest for the wildlife at a time when they should be left alone.
For years we lived in Arizona in the Phoenix area. Back then that was pretty good because we could always drive north for a couple hours and get into the snow. Now it’s so populated down there that would be very practical. It was so good to return here to the four distinct seasons though. The snowflakes are courtesy of WordPress. They are optional, but I like them too.
Gosh, really beautiful but if I had read that forecast, I would have snuggled into flannel jammies under several blankets with a good book. And I love when the WordPress snow returns but the new way to add images now on WordPress, not so much.
That forecast was just an invitation to the dance! I haven’t dealt with putting images on WordPress because I always link mine from Flickr. I hope they aren’t making it more difficult to post. I don’t consider their system very friendly as it is.
The photos are so beautiful. I can “hear the quiet”. When I lived in snow country, I loved the way the trees seemed to make different sounds when they were dressed up in their snow. Maybe this will be our winter for a few flakes!
Because I am always alone I’m fairly conservative driving in the back country and I’ve driven enough that I know most of the things to watch out for. I do carry tire chains but seldom get into a situation where I have to use them. Snow depth is a fairly clear-cut issue, but some of the steep narrow roads can be very difficult when they are covered with ice.
Oh wow, look at that snow! Beautiful shots, and I just love the last photo. Last winter was warm here and we only had one sprinkle of snow that lasted two hours and didn’t stick or accumulate… no appreciable snow. I am so hoping for snow this winter. Monday there is a chance for snow.
I hope you do get snow this winter Anna! Besides being beautiful it’s so beneficial for the earth. Up here our forests depend on having snow pile up deep in the high country where it will release its water throughout the summer. So far this year it looks good up there.
I’m surprised that you had rain most of the night: I assumed that by this time of year in Montana you would have had snow from the outset, but from what you’ve written it seems largely a function of altitude.
We have been a little warmer than normal for this time of year. Just a few degrees, but enough to have rain here instead of snow. Two thousand feet higher and maybe 10 degrees lower it is all white and piling up.
Yes, it’s finally turning. We had light snow off and on today and just now had a brief but very heavy shower of grapple. There’s a heavy snow storm at the moment just north of Missoula and west along I90.
Beautiful and majestic trees, every year your forests enchant me, I could walk along those paths for a long time. I imagine there are not many sounds but for the birds ? or an occasional branch breaking under the snow ? Wonderful pictures.
Little bird sounds now; most have migrated. Wind through the trees and an occasional squirrel chattering. Thursday night I drove to a secluded area around midnight to see the meteor shower and was visually rewarded by meteorites and audibly rewarded by the songs of coyotes. The cold of night also felt good (and so did a goose down parka)!