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I'm leaving IL tomorrow morning and heading out to White Sulphur Springs, MT...which is currently under a winter storm warning for Fri/Sat. I was wondering what kind of expectations I should have for the interstates and highways out there after a storm passes - this time of year does the snow typically only stick up at the higher elevations? With the recent temps in the 80's I wouldn't think the roads would get too bad after the first storm, but was wondering what you guys out there think about it.
You will be fine , the snow won't last and it will get nice again next weekend. Very little rut activity is going on because of the heat and drought. This weather will get the rut going
It was 90 just a few days ago. The snow will be higher elevations and wont likely be on the roads. The ground is still very warm. Not to mention that its been so dry that the ground is going to suck up every bit of moisture available. If it does snow it wont be around long.
The only places that I could see there being a little snow or ice on the roads at night, and that wont last, would be the higher elevations on hwy 12 between checkerboard and white sulpher, hwy 89 north of white sulpher, or hwy 294 south of white sulpher.
It looks like there will be accumulation in the surrounding mountains themselves. It still wont be around on the highways for long. Forest service roads may be a different story, but will clear up as well. If you get into a little snow, you will be fine if you use good common sense and dont panick. I'm from IL also (36 years), but have been here in MT 6 years and CO 5 before that. Its crazy how spooked my IL family and friends are of snow on the road. Ice on mountain roads isnt fun by any means, but they are terrified of 1"of wet snow on flat ground.
Thanks guys. I'm driving out to Mt. Rushmore tomorrow and then getting up Saturday and making the rest of the trip then, so from the sounds of it things shouldn't be too bad (hopefully!). I have to admit I was excited to see the cooler weather coming in right before I show up, hopefully that'll get them going!
I have high hopes for the same....lots of bugling and rutting action. I leave work today at 2:30 and dont return until the 25th.
https://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/map/mtmap_frame.html This is the best site I know for getting updates on Montana Road Conditions.
If you click on the enhanced version, it will show you were all the road construction is, all the incidents (fires currently), and there are cameras all over the state that show what it looks like right now (although the photos in the dark at this time of night aren't really much help, ha!). Currently is shows all of the roads as being dry, but will update showing when they turn wet, snow covered etc.
Thanks Irishman - I made it to Mt Rushmore yesterday for the night, looks like things shouldn't be too bad today for the rest of the jaunt. I did swing through the Badlands loop and caught these sheep out feeding. Well worth the time to make that drive!
Non issue. Will be warm again in a few days. I was over in White Sulphur last night chasing speed goats and it was dumping but not much stuck. Dirt roads without rock in them were not usable but everything else was fine. Forest service roads should be fine too.