An ice storm is a type of winter storm characterized by freezing rain, also known as a glaze event or, in some parts of the United States, as a silver thaw. The U.S. National Weather Service defines an ice storm as a storm which results in the accumulation of at least 0.25-inch (6.4 mm) of ice on exposed surfaces. From 1982 to 1994, ice storms were more common than blizzards and averaged 16 per year.
Ice storms occur when a layer of warm air is between two layers of cold air. Frozen precipitation melts to rain while falling into the warm air layer, and then begins to refreeze in the cold layer below the inversion. If the precipitate refreezes while still in the air, it will land on the ground as sleet. Alternatively, the liquid droplets can continue to fall without freezing, passing through the cold air just above the surface. This thin layer of air then cools the rain to a temperature below freezing (0 °C or 32 °F). However, the drops themselves do not freeze, a phenomenon called supercooling (or forming "supercooled drops"). When the supercooled drops strike ground or anything else below 0 °C (32 °F) (e.g. power lines, tree branches, aircraft), a layer of ice accumulates as the cold water drips off, forming a slowly thickening film of ice, hence freezing rain.
Whitefish Mountain Resort is a ski resort located at The Big Mountain in northwestern Montana, located west of Glacier National Park in the Flathead National Forest. It is 4 miles (6 km) from the town of Whitefish and 21 miles (34 km) north of the city of Kalispell.
The area currently has 9 chairlifts: 3 high-speed detachable quads and 6 fixed grip (2 quads and 4 triples). There are also three surface lifts: two T-bars and a magic carpet. Of these, 9 lifts operate regularly, including one T-bar which is normally only open on weekends.