Snow Avalanche Guidance
Issued by NWS Missoula, MT

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FWUS45 KMSO 121124

Backcountry Forecast for western Montana and north central Idaho
National Weather Service Missoula MT
424 AM MST FRI FEB 12 2016

DISCUSSION: The first wave of moisture continues to cross western
Montana this morning, in association with the warm front that
caused rain to fall on elevations as high as 6000 feet overnight.
More precip is on the way today, but will stay mostly confined to
the mountainous terrain of northwest Montana. Tonight, snow
levels will finally begin to lower as a cold front crosses the
Northern Rockies through Saturday morning. It may take some time
for snow levels to really lower, but be certain that snow will be
more possible down to around 2500-3000 feet by later in the day
Saturday for most of central Idaho and western Montana. In
addition to precipitation, west-northwesterly winds will increase
quite a bit Saturday afternoon, causing any new snow to blow/drift
quit a bit.

Snow levels will rapidly increase on Sunday (5000-7000 feet) and
remain high for most of the time through the middle of next week.
Winds will continue to be very gusty, particularly at pass
elevations and higher. A surge of relatively moist air on
Sunday/Monday will make for a rain on snow event for all but the
highest peaks. Next, warm high pressure will totally bake the high
elevations Tuesday/Wednesday with possibly the warmest
temperatures thus far this winter (near 50 degrees at 7500 feet).

There is a possible cool-down for high elevations Thursday next
week through the weekend, combined with another round of
precipitation across the Northern Rockies. High elevation snow and
low elevation snow/rain mix (below 4000 feet) appears most
plausible at this time.

Elevations above 4,000 FT:

                      Today        Tonight      SAT
Cloud Cover           90%          90%          90%
Hi/Lo Temps           37 to 49     24 to 32     31 to 42
Winds(mph)            SW  7G20     SW 11G24     W 17G33
Precip Chc            80           80           80
Precip Type           sno/rain     showers      sno/shr
Liquid Amt            0.10         0.17         0.17
Snow Ratio(SLR)       12:1         12:1         15:1
Snow Amt(in)          0-2          0-2          2-5

Snow Level            6000         6500         3500

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