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Snowfall shuts down Beartooth Highway during Winter Weather Awareness Week

Last week the higher elevations above Rock Creek in the Beartooth Mountains received snow for the first time. A section of U.S. Highway 212 (Beartooth Highway) is temporarily closed because of the September snowstorm. Last week the higher elevations above Rock Creek in the Beartooth Mountains received snow for the first time. A section of U.S. Highway 212 (Beartooth Highway) is temporarily closed because of the September snowstorm. Tribune photo by Kevin Kinzley

Signs of autumn

The National Weather Service picked the right week for Winter Weather Awareness Day.

 

 

The NWS declared Wednesday as the day to to prepare homes and vehicles for winter. It also advised businesses, schools and media outlets to review winter preparedness, safety and communication plans to be ready for the hazards associated with winter weather.

Although fall officially arrived Sunday, winter weather has shown up in the region.

The Wyoming and Montana Departments of Transportation and the National Park Service closed the Beartooth Highway Tuesday as a winter storm bore down on the Beartooths.

The high-elevation section of U.S. Highway 212 is temporarily closed to through travel. On the Wyoming side, the road is closed at the Long Lake Gate, 14 miles east of the intersection with Wyo. Highway 296, the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway.

On the Montana side, the road will be closed at the bottom of the gate 13 miles south of Red Lodge. After the storm passes, crews will re-evaluate the status of the road, according to a press release.

Visitors and area residents may still travel between Red Lodge and Cooke City, Silver Gate, and the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone by way of Wyo. Highway 296.

The latest information on road conditions in Wyoming is available by calling 888-WYO-ROAD or by visiting www.wyo.road.info.

Current information on roads in Yellowstone National Park is available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2117. Updated road information for Montana is available by calling 800-226-7623 and is available online at  www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo.

The Weather Service plans to use social media increasingly to spread it alerts.

“Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are enabling us to quickly reach a wide spectrum of customers,” said Chris Jones, warning coordination meteorologist at the Riverton NWS office. “We plan to encourage our friends and followers to share our test message with others, just like they might do with a blizzard warning.”

Early indications show a slightly above normal chance for warmer than average temperatures across Wyoming this winter, according to the weather service. The northwest portion of the state has the best — or worst, depending on your outlook — chance of above-normal snowfall.

For more information about Wyoming Winter Weather Awareness week, visit the National Weather Service website at www.weather.gov/riw/?n=wwwad. You also can call the Riverton NWS office at 800-211-1448 for information.

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1 comment

  • posted by Ian G. Keen

    November 09, 2013 9:11 am

    Can you tell me the annual snowfall for Beartooth Pass?

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