March 15, 2016

Avalanche Danger Update

Avalanche danger is expected to increase Tuesday night through Wednesday with several inches of new snow forecast for the alpine.  After a weekend of beautiful weather, good stability, and many parties skiing big objectives; it will be time to dial it back until we know how the new snow has affected the snowpack.  The snow surface prior to new snow is faceted and intact surface hoar has been observed in many upper elevation areas.  Sun and wind is expected to mitigate some of the surface hoar problems, but extra vigilance in regard to suspect pockets in sheltered areas that may get loaded with forecast new snow is warranted.  There are also crusts and faceted layers near the surface, that were not much of an issue due to being shallowly buried, that may become problematic as they become more deeply buried.  It’s that time of year when we really need to watch for sun and warming induced crusts under fresh snow on solar aspects; these are usually especially touchy and can have sufficient energy for wide propagation.

Please be advised that conditions will change dramatically from what is depicted in observations from the past weekend with the forecast new snow.

Stay tuned for observations and another advisory later this week.