Continuing snowy conditions keep Jackson Hole

Very unusual late, deep snows keep National Elk Refuge and nearby national forest lands under winter closures-

Snow extends closures. By Cory Hatch. Jackson Hole Daily

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Heavy snowfall sends elk onto the National Elk Refuge

Heavy snowfall sends elk to refuge. By Cory Hatch. Jackson Hole Daily.

It is shaping up to be a snowy winter in southern Idaho and Western Wyoming.

Tornado hits West Yellowstone

Many trees are down and structural damage (roofs!). Probably no injuries-

What was to become this violent storm work me up yesterday morning here in SE Idaho. I watched (on the Web) the storm grow as it moved NNE. This morning I got a call from a West Yellowstone resident who was driving around looking at the damage. It seems to extend a bit beyond town. There might have been more than one tornado, and/or several touch downs.  There are some photos online now.

Fast and furious storm rips West Yellowstone. By Gail Schontzler. Bozeman Chronicle.

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8-31-10. Subsequent reports indicate that this was a microburst, but probably with some funnel clouds. At least that’s how I read it. RM

High latitude clouds seen at night are getting brighter

Have you seen noctilucent, or “night shining,” clouds?

These clouds can be seen for several hours after the sun has set. They form in the summer at high latitudes, but they are getting denser and appearing farther south. The shine at night because they are 50 miles above the ground and reflect the sun’s rays hours after the sun has disappeared on the ground. They are still above the Earth’s curve.

They are made of ice particles and might be increasing because of the build up of carbon dioxide and the warming lower atmosphere which might have caused the stratosphere to get even colder. However, this hasn’t been proven.

At any rate, have you seen them while camping or whatever?

Pictures: “Night Shining” Clouds Getting Brighter. National Geographic News.

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Mudslides from the 2007 Idaho wildfires begin after unusual June wet spell

Article below is about a mudflow near Ketchum, orginating from the Castle Rock Fire area, but there a numerous slides around southern Idaho-

June is often a fairly wet month in Idaho, which is mostly an arid or semi-arid state. The end of May and continuing into June has brought a lot of precipitation into southern, south central and southeast Idaho. Much of it is in slow moving thunderstorms. Thunderstorms are much more typical of July and August than May in Idaho.

In 2007 over a million acres of wildfire burned in Idaho’s mountains (and even more on its sagebrush steppe country — “rangelands”). The soil on the burns on these steep mountains are stable yet as this mudslide west of Ketchum indicates.

When travelling backcountry roads you should inqure about slides and washouts, and at least for the next week (according to the weather report) be prepared for flash floods.

Officials: Burned hillsides still pose risk. Mudslide threat could last several years in Castle Rock Fire area. By Jason Kauffman. Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer.

Are any readers aware of slides and blockages in your part of Idaho or nearby states that folks should be aware of. Please post.

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Deep snow this winter!