Skip to main content
  1. Sports
  2. Recreation
  3. Outdoor Rec & Adventure

Montana Ice Jam Awareness Day is January 9, 2014

See also

Thursday January 9th, Montana’s National Weather Service offices are recognizing the eighth annual Montana Ice Jam Awareness Day (MIJAD). Montana Ice Jam Awareness Day's purpose is to help educate the state’s residents about potential problems that can result from ice jams and associated ice jam flooding.

More Photos

See this video of the Gallatin River Ice Jam in Montana on December 7, 2013 courtesy of

According to MIJAD's webpage, Montana has the highest number of reported ice jams and the highest number of ice jam related deaths in the lower 48 states. Ice jams that occur in Montana comprise approximately 9% of the total for the continental United States! Nearly two-thirds of Montana’s ice jams occur in February and March, but can be a problem as early as December.

There are different types of ice jams that can occur. Freeze-up ice jams occur when prolonged sub-freezing weather allows an ice cover to develop on a river or stream. Break-up jams occur when the freezing weather is followed by significant warming, allowing the ice on rivers to break free and flow downstream. Jams typically form as ice accumulates at obstacles such as bends in rivers or bridge supports. Water can quickly back up behind the jam and cause flooding. Jams can also release very quickly, often causing flash flooding as the water stored behind the jam then rushes downstream. Snowmelt or rain on snow and the breakup of river ice often occur in tandem and can result in more intense flooding.

While many ice jams develop and release before causing significant flooding, some can produce prolonged, extensive flooding and cause considerable damage. If you see an ice jam, contact your local National Weather Service office, your county Disaster and Emergency Services coordinator, or your local law enforcement.

References and helpful links:


NOAA’s National Weather Service:

NOAA’s National Weather Service in Great Falls:

Ice Jam Page:



  • Stephen A. Smith apologizes
    Stephen A. Smith: Ray Rice rant was 'most egregious error of my career'
    Domestic Violence
  • Maria Kirilenko slideshow
    Feast your eyes on the former fiance of Alex Ovechkin: The newly-single Maria Kirilenko
    20 Photos
  • New York Yankees fan returns lost Red Sox World Series ring to owner
    MLB News
  • Peyton Manning dancing
    Peyton Manning shows off his formidable dancing skills at training camp
    NFL News
  • Bagwell becoming porn star
    Buff Bagwell has the stuff, but his Vivid dreams have not come true just yet
    Fight Sports
  • Grave defiler identified
    Die-hard Browns fan identified in Art Modell’s grave defiling video
    Crimes & Court

Related Videos:

  • No plans to change bicycle helmet reporting requirements
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518083991" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Clouds over PB
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518344045" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Plan calls for replacing the troubled Eisenhower Memorial Commission
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518138599" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>