News & Features

Winter Storm Wallops Flathead Valley; School Canceled in Whitefish, Bigfork

Avalanche danger “high” in the mountains

Updated: Jan. 23, 10:55 a.m.

A winter storm has covered the Flathead Valley with fresh powder, and school has been canceled in Whitefish and Bigfork due to poor driving conditions.

According to the National Weather Service in Missoula, 7 to 8 inches of snow had fallen in Kalispell and Polson and 4 to 5 inches in the Libby area.

Snow is expected to continue to fall through the morning, with an additional 2 to 4 inches in Kalispell and 3 to 5 inches near Essex. A winter weather advisory is in place until 5 p.m.

School administrators in Whitefish and Bigfork decided early Wednesday to cancel school. All other schools in Flathead County remain open.

The Flathead Avalanche Center warned that “dangerous and complex” snow conditions were expected across the region due to the new snow. The danger for natural slides was “high” for elevations between 5,000 and 6,500 feet.

Whitefish Mountain Resort officials are expecting a busy day and are encouraging skiers and riders to carpool or take the S.N.O.W. Bus. Officials reported 7 inches of fresh powder on the summit of Big Mountain this morning.

This story will be updated when additional information becomes available.