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Before and After Storms; Apgar Mountain

I’ve shared a number of views of Montana and elsewhere. I thought it might be sort of neat to share a few of the views, taken a few days to a  week apart, over the course of three weeks. Things can change in a short amount of time and the view changes with the weather.

The first group of images is from Apgar Mountain in Glacier National Park. The images are from park service webcams and were taken on December 27, January 1, and January 7. 

It should be said that we had snow on the ground on Christmas day right here in the valley, due to a small snowstorm that went through. Apgar Mountain is about 2,000 feet higher than our valley floor and about 70 miles to our east.

Apgar Mountain 12-27

Our storm was large enough that it dropped some snow in Glacier NP, however, not a great deal. There is a lot of blue sky in this picture and the mountains are beautifully snow-capped. In the image, you can see a man who is enjoying the view, as well as the footprints he left in the snow. They show that the snow depth is about a foot.

Lake McDonald looks beautiful in this picture, though it is mostly in shadow.

Apgar Mountain on 1-1

On the first day of the year, another storm was moving through, bigger than the last one. Notice that the footprints that were plainly visible in the last image are already filled in after just 5 days.

The snow clouds are heavy and neither the distant mountains nor Lake McDonald can even be seen.

Apgar Mountain on 1-7

Today is the 7th and this time we have a big storm passing through, with snow advisories up all over northwest Montana. In this picture, the cloud cover is even denser. The camera doesn't pick up the fact that the snow is currently falling lightly. The amount of snow in this image is about two and a half feet deep.

Apgar Mountain middle fork 12-27

Here's the view from Apgar Mountain looking over the middle fork of the Flathead River, looking in the opposite direction from the last three images, taken on December 27. The clouds are below the level of Apgar Mountain and there aren't many of them, so the distant mountain can be seen through a gap in the clouds.

Apgar Mountain middle fork 1-1

On the first day of the year, with a small snowstorm moving through, the valley can't be seen except for a hint of darker color. The fir trees show that more snow has fallen, however.

Apgar Mountain middle fork 1-7

This image is a little deceiving. It was taken today and although the clouds are denser than even in the last image, the trees don't look like they have any snow on them. A person might conclude that there is less snow on the ground. This would be incorrect. There is actually a lot more snow on the ground.

What happened to the snow on the fir trees? In the intervening week, the temperatures raised to above freezing, loosening the snow. When the leading edge of the big storm hit, 30 mile-an-hour winds raced through this area, blasting the loosened snow out of the trees. The view in the other direction didn't show the same thing because this image was facing the windward side of the mountain while the other picture was to the leeward side. 

In other words, this side got the winds and the other side of the mountain didn't.

What do you think?

5 points
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Written by Rex Trulove

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