Category Archives: Snow

Snow and Spring in Big Sky, MT

 

img_0447Ha, it snowed.  Nine inches on Lone Peak!  I’m sure this was disappointing to many folks who have been lusting for spring, but too bad. It was beautiful. The snow clung to every tree and shone in the sunlight.

I realize that the 2011-12 ski season was not the most powdery ever to hit SW Montana. Big Sky still fared better than many areas, and I enjoyed a healthy amount of faceshots this winter (…..and I don’t mean the house shot at the Lotus Pad, which are also delicious).

Lots of folks round here are over the winter, but they’re in DENIAL. Big Sky always gets pounded with snow after the resort closes. I did a little online research on Big Sky’s historical weather. The data from several sites showed snowfall into June, and showed June as the wettest month in terms of precipitation. Check out this summary from 1984-2012: http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?mt0775      

It’s interesting to look at the inches of precipitation for each month versus the snowfall in inches. This is also known as the Snow Water Equivalent (SWE), which is the amount of water contained within the snowpack. An easy way to think about it is that it is the amount of water you would end up with if you instantly melted the snow. Obviously, deeper snow with less water = fluffier POW! That’s the technical explanation.

Some great sites to geek out on the local climate include:

Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center: http://mtavalanche.com/

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: http://www.noaa.gov/

US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Site: http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/

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