|Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
|Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
|Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding, and conservative decision-making essential.
|Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.
|Extraordinarily dangerous avalanche conditions. Avoid all avalanche terrain.
|Likelihood of Avalanches
|Natural and human-triggered avalanches unlikely.
|Natural avalanches unlikely; human-triggered avalanches possible.
|Natural avalanches possible; human-triggered avalanches likely.
|Natural avalanches likely; human-triggered avalanches very likely.
|Natural and human-triggered avalanches certain.
|Avalanche Size and Distribution
|Small avalanches in isolated areas or extreme terrain.
|Small avalanches in specific areas; or large avalanches in isolated areas.
|Small avalanches in many areas; or large avalanches in specific areas; or very large avalanches in isolated areas.
|Large avalanches in many areas; or very large avalanches in specific areas.
|Very large avalanches in many areas.
|Size (D scale)
|Unlikely to bury a person
|Can bury a person
|Can destroy a house
|4 & 5
|Can destroy part or all of a village
Our main concern today is the lingering potential to trigger an avalanche 1-3’ deep on the layer of buried surface hoar and near-surface facets that were buried about two weeks ago. As we move further out from the last major loading event, these weak grain types are slowly gaining strength, becoming more stubborn and difficult to trigger. Although the likelihood for triggering these avalanches is decreasing, we still do not have the confidence to forget about this problem. The most likely place to run into trouble will be in terrain that has been recently wind-loaded, with relatively stiff snow sitting on top of relatively soft snow. It may also be a bit more sensitive on steep southerly aspects, where there are weak facets above and below a sun crust that formed earlier in the month. If you are trying to step out into steep terrain today, you can minimize your risk by being mindful of safe travel protocol:
Wind Slabs: Winds have shifted back to the northwest. With speeds expected to stay in the 5-15 mph range, we might see some smaller wind slabs forming today. Be on the lookout for signs of wind loading, and avoid steep slopes that are being actively loaded.
Sluffs: Steep slopes that have been sheltered from the wind have around a foot or more of loose snow sitting on top of firm surfaces. It will be easy to trigger dry loose avalanches today, and they can pick up enough volume and speed to carry a person. While it is unlikely they will be big enough to bury you, they can be dangerous if they drag you into terrain traps like cliffs, trees, rocks, or gullies.
Yesterday: Skies were cloudy with high temperatures in the low teens to upper 20’s F. Low temperatures were in the single digits to mid teens F, and all the way down to -8 F near Portage yesterday morning. Easterly winds were 5-15 mph at ridgetops with gusts to 33 mph. No precipitation was recorded.
Today: We are expecting mostly sunny skies as winds shift back to the northwest at 5-15 mph. High temperatures are expected in the upper teens to mid 20s F, with lows in the single digits to low teens F tonight. No precipitation is expected today.
Tomorrow: Winds are expected to be calm for most of the day, increasing slightly and shifting back to the east in the afternoon. Skies are expected to start out mostly sunny, with increasing cloud cover in the afternoon. High temperatures are expected to be in the upper teens to mid 20s F, and no precipitation is expected.
PRECIPITATION 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)
|Snow Depth (in)
|Center Ridge (1880′)
|Summit Lake (1400′)
|Alyeska Mid (1700′)
RIDGETOP 24-hour data (6am – 6am)
|Temp Avg (F)
|Wind Avg (mph)
|Wind Gust (mph)
|Seattle Ridge (2400′)
|Observation: Kickstep NE Bowl
|Observation: TinCan Backdoor/ Center Ridge
|AAS L1 Turnagain
|Avalanche: Lynx Creek
|Observation: Turnagain, Seattle, Mt Ascension
|Silverton Mountain Guides
|Observation: Tincan Trees
|Dalpes/Thamm/ Schauer Forecaster
|Observation: Seward Highway across from Johnson Pass TH
|Avalanche: Base of Seattle Ridge
|Troy Tempel, Thomas Lees, .Josh Bollaert, Damian Naquin
|Observation: Lynx creek