Montana Outdoors

December 3, 2012

Snow day

Filed under: Weather, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 12:22 am

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!

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

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64 Comments »

  1. These look very Christmassy!

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — December 3, 2012 @ 12:55 am

    • Yes, the trees were nicely decorated. I wish I could post the sound of the wind through those firs and share the feel of it on my face.

      Comment by montucky — December 3, 2012 @ 1:07 am

  2. 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!

    Comment by Jo Woolf — December 3, 2012 @ 1:21 am

    • 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!

      Comment by montucky — December 3, 2012 @ 1:47 am

      • 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.

        Comment by shoreacres — December 4, 2012 @ 9:06 am

        • 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…

          Comment by montucky — December 4, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

  3. It looks like you won’t be seeing any bare ground up there for awhile!

    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — December 3, 2012 @ 4:57 am

    • Right. It should be white until spring and that sets us up for a good summer.

      Comment by montucky — December 3, 2012 @ 9:51 am

  4. Currier and Ives worthy. (You may not be old enough to know those cards). I prefer looking at the pictures of snow with palm trees out my window ;)

    Comment by Debby — December 3, 2012 @ 6:43 am

    • Wouldn’t Currier and Ives have loved digital photography! Actually, I’m old enough to have known several of the dinosaurs personally, but I still love the snow!

      Comment by montucky — December 3, 2012 @ 10:01 am

  5. 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. :)

    Comment by Homestead Ramblings — December 3, 2012 @ 7:10 am

    • It amazes me that so many people don’t take the weather at face value and adjust accordingly. I remember the craziness in Seattle when there was a little snow. Kind of sad, really.

      Comment by montucky — December 3, 2012 @ 10:08 am

  6. Beautiful and I know that unless there was a little wind the silence was total. Such a beautiful experience.

    Comment by anniespickns — December 3, 2012 @ 7:30 am

    • Exactly. There were periods up there when the wind quit and the silent snow falling was exhilarating. It seems even more peaceful than in summer.

      Comment by montucky — December 3, 2012 @ 10:10 am

  7. Gorgeous photos as usual. In spite of the fact that I hate snow!

    Comment by Roberta — December 3, 2012 @ 8:05 am

    • I know that lots of people don’t like snow but I would miss it a lot. It is actually vital to our ecology.

      Comment by montucky — December 3, 2012 @ 10:11 am

      • Wish we got more of it here in my part of NC. I’m so envious!

        Comment by suzieq1 — December 3, 2012 @ 11:03 am

        • 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.

          Comment by montucky — December 3, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

  8. Gorgeous, Terry…how wonderful for you! :)

    Comment by seekraz — December 3, 2012 @ 8:16 am

    • 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.

      Comment by montucky — December 3, 2012 @ 10:14 am

      • 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)?

        Comment by seekraz — December 5, 2012 @ 7:39 am

        • 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.

          Comment by montucky — December 5, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

          • All excellent points. Hadn’t considered the noise and disturbance, somehow…again, I’m not familiar with them in the least…have only seen them on trailers and in yards so far.

            Comment by seekraz — December 5, 2012 @ 10:56 pm

  9. Wonderful photos!! Thanks for posting them and reminding us West Texans what real snow is like! Have fun and thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Elizabeth — December 3, 2012 @ 8:34 am

    • I am looking forward to much more snow this winter and we should get it if the wet conditions stay around. The ski areas here are open now and I’ve heard that the conditions are pretty good for them.

      Comment by montucky — December 3, 2012 @ 10:18 am

  10. Beautiful winter wonderland photos! Sometimes I miss snow so much that my heart aches.. but only for a few days at a time! I love the falling snowflakes across your page too :-)

    Comment by The Lonely Dogs — December 3, 2012 @ 10:04 am

    • 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.

      Comment by montucky — December 3, 2012 @ 10:22 am

  11. Wow, wow, wow!! Beautiful shots! Very Christmasy, indeed. :)

    Comment by allbymyself09 — December 3, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

    • Looks like by the weekend we should be getting some of that down here too!

      Comment by montucky — December 3, 2012 @ 11:56 pm

  12. Now I don’t have to “dream of a white Christmas”! I can just keep coming back to your beautiful photos! Thanks Terry :)

    Comment by twoscamps — December 3, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

    • I hope we will have a white Christmas. The snow line is not far above us now.

      Comment by montucky — December 3, 2012 @ 11:57 pm

  13. So much snow falling out there that it’s spilled onto your blog! LoL! Beautiful =)

    Comment by Tricia — December 3, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

    • It does make it feel more like Christmas now. We will go out and cut our tree this weekend too.

      Comment by montucky — December 3, 2012 @ 11:58 pm

  14. Very pretty! We still haven’t had more than a dusting that quickly melted.

    Comment by kateri — December 3, 2012 @ 7:47 pm

    • We haven’t had any on the ground down here for awhile but there’s some on the way I hear. If it had been colder this past week we would have several feet of it.

      Comment by montucky — December 3, 2012 @ 11:59 pm

  15. 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.

    Comment by Candace — December 3, 2012 @ 10:54 pm

    • 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.

      Comment by montucky — December 4, 2012 @ 12:05 am

      • I link my images from “outside”, too, but gave the new system a try. It’s not friendly at all. Don’t worry your head about it. ;)

        Comment by shoreacres — December 4, 2012 @ 9:08 am

  16. 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!

    Comment by shoreacres — December 4, 2012 @ 9:11 am

    • Yes, the “sound” of silence! It was that way up there, broken when the wind came up in force. You could also hear clumps of snow fall from the tees, making sounds like soft footfalls on the ground.

      Comment by montucky — December 4, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

  17. What classic Christmas scenery Montana has! :)

    Comment by Watching Seasons — December 4, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

    • Yes, up here many of the trees exist precisely because they adapted to the winter snowfall, especially the subalpine firs.

      Comment by montucky — December 4, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

  18. Very pretty. Only wish our forecasters here were that good! Still waiting for our first major snowfall. Maybe late next week.

    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — December 4, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

    • The mountain passes here have good amounts of snow and the ski areas are all open, some with more snow than others. There have already be a couple of avalanche incidents.

      Comment by montucky — December 4, 2012 @ 9:41 pm

  19. Great pix. Wish we’d see a little of that white stuff in Georgia.

    Malcolm

    Comment by knightofswords — December 4, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

    • One day with a couple inches of snow there would be great for the kids. And traffic would get back to normal by some time in August.

      Comment by montucky — December 4, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

  20. Absolutely STUNNING… Such beautiful shots!

    Do you ever worry about getting stuck in the snow with your jeep?

    Comment by FeyGirl — December 5, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

    • 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.

      Comment by montucky — December 5, 2012 @ 10:54 pm

  21. 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.

    Comment by Anna Surface — December 6, 2012 @ 9:32 am

    • 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.

      Comment by montucky — December 6, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

  22. And such welcome moisture too!

    Comment by Tammy — December 6, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

    • Yes. Absolutely vital to us here. We are getting a little tonight, but up higher a lot of falling.

      Comment by montucky — December 6, 2012 @ 11:33 pm

  23. What a beautiful scenery. Summer or winter, your nature photos are so appealing. :-)

    Comment by Giiid — December 7, 2012 @ 5:55 am

    • Thank you Giiid! It’s just that this is a very photogenic area.

      Comment by montucky — December 7, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

  24. 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.

    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — December 7, 2012 @ 6:08 am

    • 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.

      Comment by montucky — December 7, 2012 @ 9:54 pm

  25. it looks as though the dance between autumn and winter is giving way to winter ;-)
    snowing here too
    lovely photographs ~

    Comment by Tammie — December 7, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

    • 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.

      Comment by montucky — December 7, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

  26. Winter wonderland. Great photos indeed. In Finland we have snow now. Here we moved, we have snow about 5 inches.

    Comment by Sartenada — December 10, 2012 @ 1:43 am

    • New snow at your new house must be delightful for you! I’m glad you are now moved in!

      Comment by montucky — December 10, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

  27. 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.

    Comment by isathreadsoflife — December 16, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

    • 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)!

      Comment by montucky — December 17, 2012 @ 12:21 am


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