New weather station on top of Mt. Glory will help forecast avalanches

JACKSON, Wyo. — A new weather station that will measure wind speeds has been installed near the top of Mt. Glory thanks to joint efforts from the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) and the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center (BTAC).

The idea of the station is to help generate a more accurate forecast by measuring more baseline data to help in the forecasting process.

“It was installed to give us a better sense of the actual wind speeds that are occurring in the starting zones of the two major avalanche paths that are on Mt. Glory which would be Twin Slides and Glory Bowl,” said Brenden Cronin, Forecaster for WYDOT Avalanche District 3.

Weather information measured from the new station is available to the public on MesoWest. Information from a snow station on Teton Pass at 8,000 feet that has been in the area since the ’80s is also now available to the public on MesoWest.

“One of the biggest focuses with this installation is to share that information not only with Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center but the general public as well,” Cronin said. “A lot of that also stems to the fact that Mt. Glory and Teton Pass are incredibly high-use areas for backcountry skiing and snowboarding, and I think there’s kind of been a sentiment in the community for years that people want to know what’s going on as far as wind speeds up there.”

The location of the new station was chosen by consensus from WYDOT, Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center, and the Forest Service.

“We had hoped to truly get it up on the summit knob, but the Forest Service wasn’t sold on that because they were worried that its location might affect people’s scenic view,” Cronin said. He also added that Bob Comey, an avalanche forecaster for the resort and the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center, played a large role in helping to determine the location with the Forest Service.

Forecasters are now able to compare data measured on top of Mt. Glory to other stations, like the one that sits at the mid-mountain area of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Cronin said that the Glory station has already proved useful in measuring wind speeds when the JHMR station was momentarily down.

Along with the new Glory station, WYDOT is in the process of bringing another station online in the Hoback Canyon, but issues with the communication of the station have proved challenging so far.

Cronin said, “Because of the topography of that canyon, it’s been fairly challenging. But that is something that is another station we went through the Forest Service to get approval for, and hopefully, we can continue to move forward and get that one online as well.”

The new station features an interpretive sign that gives a basic summary of who installed it and what its purpose is. The Glory station is fully funded and maintained by WYDOT.

Photo: WYDOT Avalanche District 3 // Jen Reddy

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