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Issued: Sat, Dec 24, 2016 at 8AM

Expires: Sun, Dec 25, 2016

Above 2,500ft Moderate

1,500 to 2,500ft Moderate

Below 1,500ft Moderate

Degrees of Avalanche Danger ?

1. Low
2. Moderate
3. Considerable
4. High
5. Extreme

Avalanche Danger Rose ?

Avalanche Problems ?

Problem Details

It’s been 3 days since 3-5 feet of new snow fell (above 1000ft). Saturday’s snowfall was cold, dry, and fluffy, which makes a weak base for the wetter snow that fell Sunday-Tuesday. Those storm snow instabilities are settling now that the snow has had time to compress and bond. That said, on steep slopes with surface wind slabs, or with a very heavy trigger, it is still possible to trigger an avalanche. If one is triggered, it could be deep and spread wide, so keep this in mind. We’re not in the clear yet. Today it will be important to minimize your exposure to steep slopes and take steps to decrease the risk of a serious slide. This means using safe travel techniques. Slopes steeper than 35 degrees should still be avoided while the new snow continues to settle.

Recent Avalanche Activity

One large natural slide (D3.5, R4) occurred at the end of the last storm, on a wind loaded NE aspect at 3000′ below Ripinsky’s South summit. The crown was around a meter deep, so it likely ran on the weak storm snow from last Saturday. Propagation with this slide was surprisingly wide, several hundred feet long.

Recent Weather

Last Saturday-Wednesday brought 3-5 feet of new snow, with temperatures starting near 16F and rising to 28F. South winds came in strong during the storm.

We’re back to clear, cold, and light-moderate north winds, which will last until a good storm hits Christmas day. 12″ of snow is likely in the valleys with 12-20″ over the mountains by Monday afternoon.

Additional Info & Media

Even small slides can pile up deep. Stay out of gullies, depressions, and terrain traps. ALWAYS wear a beacon, shovel, and probe and know how to use them.

Posted in Transitional Zone Forecasts.
Erik Stevens

Forecaster: Erik Stevens