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Issued: Mon, Jan 02, 2017 at 8AM

Expires: Wed, Jan 04, 2017

Above 2,500ft Considerable

1,500 to 2,500ft Considerable

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

Temperatures are unusually warm above the inversion. In the low 40’s F in the alpine and mid 40’s below treeline. It’s warm enough for wet slides to occur at the top of the snowpack, especially on steep southeast-south-southwest aspects. If the new snow is wet ankle deep or more, conditions are becoming dangerous. Both wet-loose and wet slabs will be likely.

North-northwest winds picked up Saturday-Sunday, causing recent wind loading on lee aspects and terrain features/gullies. Any slopes with slabby layers near the top of the snowpack need to be treated with caution. Slopes with fresh or active wind loading and 30 degrees or steeper should be avoided. Please send in any observations of recent avalanches, whumphs, or shooting cracks.

Recent Avalanche Activity

Shooting cracks were observed within recent storm snow this weekend. Sliding surface was an ice crust 30cm deep.

Recent Weather

The mountains received 6-12″ of snow on the 26th-27th, and again on the 29th. The first storm produced cold, dry snow that makes a weak base for the wetter, heavier snow that fell on the 29th. Amounts were on the lower end up the highway and through the pass, and on the higher end in the Lutak zone. Winds were southerly, but switched to strong northerly on the 31st (20-40mph in the alpine).  Temperatures plummeted with the north winds, down to around 10F in the alpine.

Clear conditions are expected through the week, and the north winds will let up entirely. Furthermore, it will be warm…really warm. There will be a strong inversion Sunday-Tuesday with sub-freezing temperatures from 0 – 1000ft, but unusually warm above that. Temperatures above the inversion could reach 40F or more. Expect persistent valley fog and beautiful sunshine in the mountains above.

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 Lutak Forecasts.
Erik Stevens

Forecaster: Erik Stevens