Last month someone posted a thread about biking through the Rockies in October. October has just begun and a second major winter storm is slamming the Northern Rockies.
Here is the forecast for the Yellowstone National Park -
text.And it doesn't get much better after that.Sunday: Snow, mainly after noon. High near 33. Breezy, with a east wind between 13 and 21 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.
Sunday Night: Snow. Low around 20. East wind between 14 and 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.
Monday: Snow, mainly before noon. High near 28. North northeast wind between 10 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
Monday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 13. Northeast wind between 5 and 10 mph.
What that means is 4 or 5 days of snow - with perhaps a foot of accumulation.
Also. nighttime temps will be dropping into the teens with windchill below zero.
(For you metric folks - 30 cm of snow and wind chill below minus 18)
This is NOTHING to trifle with.
There will be heavy snow and bitterly cold temperatures in most of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.
Sunday and Monday there will be also be snow in the Sierras, the Southern Cascades, and much of Nevada - so the Western Express will be tough - especially because it is so remote. Monday and Tuesday the storm will impact the Colorado Rockies and move into the western Dakotas - with snow and blizzard conditions.
We live in an age of instant communications and virtual reality. Early snowstorm are often the most dangerous, catching people by surprise after a period of balmy weather - much like the eye of a hurricane. Because Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and the Dakotas are so remote, one cannot be assured rapid assistance - especially when communications fail and roads are temporarily closed by ice, snow, and drifting snow.
Please use extreme caution if you are cycling the Northern Tier, the TransAm, the Western Express, or anywhere in the Intermountain West.