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Friday December 8th, 2017

December 7, 2017 at 09:17PM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Sunday December 10th, 2017 @ 6 pm. 

 

DANGER RATINGS (Make sure you understand the danger level meanings)
 
Outlook Friday Saturday Sunday
Alpine MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE
Treeline LOW LOW LOW
Below Treeline LOW LOW LOW

 

Confidence: Moderate - Stable weather pattern, minimal alpine observations.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems)

Loose Wet -  Continued high temperatures and freezing levels combined with periods of light rain are likely/very likely to produce avalanches from small to large especially on solar aspects at all elevations.   

Travel/Terrain Advice: Spring-like conditions should persist through the forecast period. Avoid sunny slopes especially once the snow becomes moist or wet. Small loose wet avalanches have the potential for high consequences when travelling above cliffs or terrain traps. Watch for early season hazards such as exposed creeks, stumps, and tree wells especially below treeline.

Past Weather: Vancouver Island has seen a very stable weather pattern with little to no precipitation, light to moderate SE winds and temperatures ranging from -4oC to +12oCFreezing levels have been above the highest of the peaks of the Island for the majority of the time.

Avalanche Summary: A few small loose wet avalanches at treeline and below treeline on exposed solar aspects. Small pinwheels forming.

Snow Pack Description:  

Surface - Thin unsupportive melt freeze crust on solar aspects at all elevation in the morning, becoming moist in the afternoon. In shaded areas snow remains cold.

Upper - Snow remains cold and supportive on all but the most solar of aspects at all elevations. Some light wind transport from the dominant SE winds at treeline and alpine forming small drifts and exposing crust on windward slopes.

Mid - Well settled crust complex.

Lower - Well settled.

Weather Forecast: Light precipitation for the weekend likely in the form of rain for all but the highest elevations. Temperatures and freezing levels will remain high with potential freezing levels of up to 3600 m with the persistent high pressure system. Temperature inversion with low level clouds and morning fog in coastal sections.

Fri - No new snowWinds light to moderate S-SE                                                  

Freezing level to 1200-3500 m

Sat - 1-7 mm of precipitation. Winds moderate SE                      

Freezing level to 950-3100 m

Sun - 0-5 mm of precipitation.  Winds light to moderate SE                                           

Freezing level to 2500-3700 m

 

Prepared by Dan Goodwin

December 6th, 2017

December 5, 2017 at 05:41PM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Friday December 8th, 2017 @ 6 pm. 

 

DANGER RATINGS (Make sure you understand the danger level meanings)
 
Outlook Wednesday Thursday Friday
Alpine CONSIDERABLE CONSIDERABLE CONSIDERABLE
Treeline CONSIDERABLE CONSIDERABLE CONSIDERABLE
Below Treeline MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE

 

Confidence: Moderate - no alpine snow pack observations and most obersvations limited to Eastern Central Vancouver Island.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems)

Loose Wet- Rising temperatures and freezing levels are likely/very likely to produce avalanches from small to large, especially on solar aspects at all elevations.   

Wet Slab- Recent storm snow and wind loaded areas overlying the upper rain crust are likely to produce wet slab avalanches with the forecasted warming.  These avalanches have the potential to be large/very large in the upper treeline to alpine. 

Travel/Terrain Advice: Very high temperatures and freezing levels and no overnight freezing of upper snow pack will result in very moist to wet snow that provides little support to travelers. Be aware that even small loose wet avalanches can push one into or over terrain traps such as depressions, cliffs, and trees. There is potential for large to very large avalanches starting in treeline and alpine terrain to impact below treeline elevations. Use caution when crossing large avalanche paths in all elevations. Watch for early season hazards such as exposed creeks, stumps, and tree wells especially below treeline.

Past Weather: Vancouver Island has seen little to no precipitation, light to moderate SW through SE winds and temperatures ranging from -7oC to +6oC. Freezing levels across the forecast region have ranged from sea level to 2300 m.   

Avalanche Summary: Loose wet avalanches at treeline and below treeline on exposed solar aspects with pinwheeling and tree bombs.

Snow Pack Description:  

Surface - Thin unsupportive melt freeze crust on solar aspects at all elevation, in some shaded areas snow remains cold

Upper - Wind loaded pockets bonding moderately to an upper crust on NW-NE aspects at treeline and alpine. Scoured and pressed surface on windward slopes exposing the crust

Mid - Well settled crust complex

Lower - Well settled

Weather Forecast: Temperatures and freezing levels will remain high with potential freezing levels of up to 3600 m with the persistent high pressure system. Expect a temperature inversion for the duration of the forecast period with low level clouds and morning fog near the ocean.

Wed - No new snowWinds light SE                                                  

Freezing level to 2800-3600 m

Thur - No new snow. Winds light to moderate SE                      

Freezing level to 2500-3600 m

Fri - No new snow.  Winds light to moderate SE                                                    

Freezing level to 1200-3600 m

 

Prepared by Bill Phipps

Monday December 3

December 3, 2017 at 09:25PM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Wednesday December 6th, 2017 @ 6 pm. 

 

DANGER RATINGS (Make sure you understand the danger level meanings)
 
Outlook Monday Tuesday Wednesday
Alpine MODERATE MODERATE CONSIDERABLE
Treeline MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE
Below Tree line LOW MODERATE MODERATE

 

Confidence:  Moderate- no alpine snow pack observations and most obs limited to Eastern Central Vancouver Island

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems)

Loose Wet-   Early Tues-Wed rising temps and freezing levels are likely/very likely to produced avalanches from small to large, especially on solar aspects at all elevations.   

Wet Slab-  Recent storm snow and wind loaded areas overlying the upper rain crust could possibly/likely produce wet slab avalanches with the forecasted warming.  These avalanches have the potential to be large-very large in the upper tree line to alpine. 

Travel/Terrain Advice: Remember to check that avalanche safety equipment is in proper working order and don't just jump right back into the GNAR.  With early season conditions and forecasted warming numerous hazards like creeks, rock and stumps will become a real concern.  Even small loose wet avalanches have the force to push one into terrain traps below.  Avoid exposing yourself above terrain traps like depressions, cliffs, trees.  Avoid exposure to large alpine avalanche paths in all elevation bands.  Very large wet slab avalanches have the potential to reach into below tree line.   

Past Weather: The eastern island has seen minimal precipitation, light winds and cool temperatures.  Precipitation totals are slightly greater for western regions of the forecast area.  Freezing levels across the forecast region have ranged from sea level to 1000 m.   

Avalanche Summary:   A few very small soft slab avalanches were observed Saturday morning in the freshly fallen snow, both by ski cut and natural triggering on SW-NE aspects at tree line.  Skiing and sledding in steep unsupported terrain below and at tree line produced no results on Sunday on SW-NE aspects.  

Snow pack Description:  

Surface- New light snow 30-40 cm 

Upper-  Numerous supportive rain crusts exist in the upper snow pack.

Mid-  Well settled 

Lower- Well settled.

Weather Forecast:   Temperatures and freezing levels will take a dramatic jump up (potential freezing levels of up to 3600m) starting Tuesday with an approach of a large high pressure system. 

Mon- 0 cm to a trace of new snow.  Winds light to mod NW                                                  

Freezing level to 0-1200m.

Tues- no new snow. Winds light NW switching to light SE                      

Freezing level to 500-2700m

Wed- No new snow.  Winds light SE                                                    

Freezing level to 1200-3600 m. 

 

Prepared by Bill Phipps

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Important Notice

This bulletin covers the mountainous region of Vancouver Island from the Mt. Cain Ski Area in the North to the Beaufort range to the South including the mountains of Strathcona Provincial Park.

This is a regional forecast and significant variation may exist within the forecast area. The information and danger ratings are intended as a trip planning aid for recreational, backcountry users of avalanche terrain; they are not meant to be used as the sole factor in determining the avalanche danger presented by a specific slope.

Always include local weather, snowpack and avalanche observations in your decision to travel in avalanche terrain. Observations and experience may lead to different conclusions from what is reported or recommended. See disclaimer for further details. The technical data used to produce these bulletins is obtained from a variety of sources, including local ski areas and remote weather resources.