Monday, September 19, 2011

Predicting weather in the backcountry

Exposure is the leading cause of death in the mountains. One of the skills that will help keep you out of trouble while in the backcountry is learning how to predict the weather.

Deep in the wilderness it's highly unlikely you'll be able to get updated local weather forecasts. Essentially, you have to become your own forecaster.

Obviously predicting the weather is difficult - even for the local weatherman - and especially in the mountains. However, there are several things that can help hikers to better understand weather patterns.

One of those is learning how to identify cloud formations. Being able to assess the clouds approaching from a distance can help you determine if it's just a short front passing through, or a long lasting storm.

Backpacker Magazine has a very helpful article on their website that explains how to identify the various cloud formations and what they mean. They even have a quiz to help you further understood what you just read.

Having a little knowledge on weather forecasting could mean the difference between a great hike and a horrible one.

As far as keeping up with updated forecasts before heading into Glacier's backcountry, as well as finding historical climate information, please click here.

Hiking in

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