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More global warming?

Posted by Richard Wednesday, July 02, 2008


The Going-to-the-Sun Road, which connects the two sides of Glacier National Park in the Northern Rockies, is usually open by the first week of June. But huge amounts of snow still blanket the high country, in part because of record snowfalls in Montana this year. Now, the opening was delayed to today, the latest on record by a day, except for World War II, when the road was not ploughed at all.

Crews have been working on the Big Drift near the top of the road. At 70 feet deep, the drift was the plougher's biggest obstacle. It was also next to a cliff, making snow even more challenging to remove. A storm in mid-June dumped three to four feet of snow in the mountains.

It's not all bad news though – the farmers get more water – but the tourist industry is not having a good time of it. In Yellowstone National Park, some backcountry areas are blocked by snow and some rivers are high and muddy. "Our ongoing challenge is backcountry access," said Al Nash, a park spokesman. "We have high flowing water, mud and, in shady areas, snow. It just isn't accessible right now. It could easily be another month before we have access."

And the state climatologist has forecast a cooler and wetter July than normal. Er .. anyone for global cooling?

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