Montana Outdoors

January 17, 2009

Upside down temperatures

Filed under: Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Winter — montucky @ 2:48 pm

The weathermen on the news stations here are mentioning that it will be relatively cold for the next week or so, but if we get tired of it we can always drive up into the higher elevations where it will be warmer. It’s a period of temperature inversion, where warm air moving over at high altitudes traps cold air down in the valleys, keeping them much colder and foggy. Above the inversion layer (currently around 4,000 feet) it’s clear and sunny.

Yesterday, while driving from western Montana across the Idaho pan handle and into eastern Washington, I chose to go over Lookout Pass on the Montana – Idaho border. There’s a small town beside the Clark Fork river at 2,500 feet on I-90, and in the morning there the temp was 16°. Thirty miles west at the pass, although it’s only a thousand feet higher, the temp was 32° and the snow was melting (which is not necessarily a good thing because that’s the location of a very nice ski area).

Here are a couple photos in the little town of DeBorgia just before the pass. A lot of their snow has melted in the last two weeks although yesterday they were under the inversion layer. Looks cold, doesn’t it!

DeBorgia, Montana

DeBorgia, Montana

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