Science Center Objects

Since 1991, CCME staff have conducted snow surveys throughout Glacier National Park. These data have contributed to regional climate change and hydrologic models. Snowpack characteristics have also been evaluated in relation to avalanche forecasting and plowing of GNP’s Going to the Sun Road efforts. Studies of natural snow avalanches reveal connections with large-scale climate and wildfire patterns as well as the influence on the creation of characteristic habitat vulnerable to climate change.

The Flattop Mountain SNOTEL SiteThe Flattop Mountain SNOTEL site provides valuable data for estimating water content in the drainage as well as being used in conjunction with other avalanche forecasting techniques to assist Glacier National Park's road crew in their spring plowing efforts. The annual summary graphs are also popular with high country enthusiasts who want to compare snowpack between years.

Natural Hazards of Spring Opening of Going to the Sun RoadThe correlation between Flattop Mountain snow water equivalent on Logan Pass opening day and the timing of opening day indicates that detailed investigation of the relationship between snowpack characteristics and road opening may assist Glacier National Park managers in identifying influential and hazardous conditions.

Going-to-the-Sun Road Avalanche Forecasting ProgramIn 2002, Glacier National Park instituted its first formal avalanche hazard forecasting program for snow removal operations. In addition to forecasting, the program also provides real-time snow safety and has increased avalanche awareness among equipment operators through regular avalanche safety training.

Going-to-the-Sun Road Avalanche AtlasUSGS researchers reveal the first avalanche atlas for the Going-to-the-Sun Road (GTSR) in Glacier National Park (15MB pdf). 

Going to the Sun Road Avalanche Story Map