|Travel Advice||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.|
LOW hazard does not mean ‘no’ hazard. With continued clear and pleasant weather lately many people have been getting into steep terrain in more remote areas. Whenever traveling in a new area it is best to pay attention to the snow, despite the current overall good stability. Start by looking for obvious signs of instability (recent avalanches, shooting cracks, or whoompfing), and then test & get a feel for the snow. Anomalies exist and it is good practice to be ready for them through snowpack observations and safe travel practices. Here are some of those anomalies you might encounter today.
Yesterday my partner and I were able to produce low to medium volume sluffs in steep terrain. On terrain less than 40 degrees in steepness the loose surface snow did not want to move. Make sure you recognize when sluffing is occurring and manage your terrain accordingly (get out of the way of moving snow). With slightly warmer temperatures expected today some low volume sluffs could become damp, especially at the lower elevations.
We have seen several large cornice drops during the month of March, though nothing has been reported or observed in the last week. Many South and Southwest slopes have large cornices looming above them. Avoidance and minimizing your exposure to these areas is the best way to stay out of trouble.
(Old) Wind slabs
There is a remote chance of finding an old pocket of wind slab sitting on buried facets or surface hoar. Yesterday we encountered areas where wind slab existed; tests and ski cuts produced no significant results.
Despite the overall stability picture, you will be best served by continuing to pay attention to the snow through observation and testing.
Clear, cold and calm has been the weather pattern over the last several days. The last precipitation came 4 days ago. Temperatures were cool yesterday, with the Sunburst station (3,880′) averaging 10.8 degrees F. Winds were light, averaging 5 mph out of the NW.
Today should be another pleasant day in the mountains! Expect clear skies and slightly warmer temperatures than yesterday. Temps at 1,000′ should reach into the mid to upper twenties F. Winds will remain light out of the North at 5mph.
This stable weather pattern looks to remain in place for at least the next several days and possibly through the week.
Wendy will issue the next advisory tomorrow morning, March 19th.
|11/27/23||Turnagain||Avalanche: Tincan Ridge||Schauer/ Stiassny Forecaster|
|11/26/23||Turnagain||Observation: Road report: Slide with dirt on Repeat offender||Anonymous|
|11/26/23||Turnagain||Observation: Pete’s North||Ben Sullender|
|11/25/23||Turnagain||Observation: Tincan trees||John Sykes Forecaster|
|11/21/23||Observation: Spokane Creek||John Sykes Forecaster|
|11/19/23||Turnagain||Observation: Magnum – PMS Bowl||Schauer/ Cullen/ Jonas Forecaster|
|11/19/23||Other Regions||Observation: Sunnyside/Penguin||Jose Ramos-Leon|
|11/19/23||Turnagain||Observation: Eddies||Andy Moderow|