The weather and snow pack conditions over the past 4-5 days have created significant Surface Hoar/Near Surface Facets on most aspects and elevations. New cold/dry snow (24hr new 4-6″) combined with powder conditions previously allow for transportable snow. Winds over the past 48hrs have been light to moderate ranging from NW to SE. All adding up to a slab over a reactive weak layer. Best to assume spatial distribution is widespread until proven otherwise. Keep in mind this problem can be triggered from far distance/not on the slab. Give respect to overhead exposure, look for convexities/un-supported slopes and identify terrain traps, or where snow could pile up quickly. Stay tuned as more precipitation is forecasted for this weekend.
(Click photo to learn more about surface hoar at avalanche.org)
We are still dealing with 2 critical situation….Natural disasters in our home town and a global pandemic. Other than that, we have limited data and observations to make a moderate to high confidant assessment of what is really going in the terrain. So, as dad always says, “be cool out there!”. It is still early, Be vigilant about the changing conditions, evaluate the hazards, think risk vs. reward and ultimately manage terrain wisely.
Over the weekend we saw cold, clear weather, with temperature in the mid-to-low teens and freezing levels down to sea-level. Strong northerly outflow winds diminished yesterday as precipitation moved into the area, with moderate winds and with light snow accumulation 3-5″. Temperatures increased from low teen into the twenties.
( *star means meteorological estimate )
It’s time to start thinking avalanche. Dust off your gear and make sure it is fully functional. Put new batteries in your beacons! Do a beacon practice to start the season and keep your skills fresh. If you head into the hills, watch out for avalanche conditions, and be especially careful of rocks and hidden hazards like crevasses beneath the snow. WEAR A HELMET!
Education Video Links:
We have begun conditions updates for winter 2020/2021. Click the + Full Forecast link below for each zone to read more.
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