An Avalanche Warning is in effect for several areas of Southwest Montana starting this afternoon.

The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center has issued a Backcountry Avalanche Warning for the mountains near Cooke City, the Lionhead area near West Yellowstone, Southern Madison Range, and Southern Gallatin Range. The warning was issued at 3 p.m. today.

“Heavy snowfall measuring 1-2 feet with and strong westerly winds is adding weight to a weak and unstable snowpack. The avalanche danger is rated HIGH on all slopes. Natural and human triggered avalanches are likely today. Avalanche terrain and avalanche runout zones should be avoided,” the GNFAC wrote.

The warning will either expire or be updated at 6 a.m. Friday, Dec. 16.

For more information, contact the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center’s avalanche hotline at 406-587-6981 or visit the GNFAC website.