KALISPELL — The Flathead Avalanche Center has installed two weather stations in the Flathead Mountain Range helping predict weather and avalanche patterns.
The new weather stations weighing roughly 800 pounds and standing at 20 feet tall were flown by helicopter to the Tunnel Ridge area on the Flathead range.
The weather stations give hourly information on wind, snow and temperature, three critical pieces when forecasting for avalanches.
Flathead Avalanche Center Director Zach Guy says the new stations were fully funded through donations and local grants.
He says the new weather stations give forecasters a snapshot of conditions in a remote, backcountry area.
“Actual real live data up there gives us a really good handle on weather conditions that are developing up there, and what plays out overnight with storms and what’s going on, so we can track things a lot closer,” said Guy.
Guy says firefighters can use weather station data to gage wind direction and speed when fighting fires in the Flathead range.
Weather station data is available online on the Flathead Avalanche Center’s website.