Wednesday December 19, 2018

Friday December 21, 2018
Thursday December 20, 2018
Wednesday December 19, 2018
Confidence: Low - Minimal alpine observations

Main Concerns

Loose Wet, Storm Slab - view Avalanche Problems for detailed information.

Travel & Terrain Advice

Avoid avalanche terrain during the height of the warm wet weather on Thursday. Be conservative, especially in wind loaded areas until the recent storm snow has had some time to become more stable. Pay close attention to signs of stability including recent avalanches, shooting cracks or whumpfing.

Avalanche Summary

A break in the weather on Tuesday allowed some alpine and treeline terrain to be viewed. 1 small (size 1) natural storm slab avalanche about 50 cm deep was observed at 1485 m on a north aspect.

Avalanche Problems

Loose Wet

Spiking freezing levels and moderate to heavy precipitation will almost certainly produce small (size 1) loose wet avalanches on all aspects below treeline.

Storm Slab

Incoming storm systems will likely continue to create storm and wind slabs at higher elevations especially on lee aspects (NW through NE). These slabs may be large in size (size 2 - 3).

Snowpack Summary

The barrage of precipitation and high winds recently has deposited over 2 m of dry storm snow above 1400 m in eastern areas over the last eight days. Expect depths well over 3 m in western areas in the alpine and on the higher peaks of Strathcona Park. This new snow has been slow to settle at higher elevations and includes several poorly bonding weak layers. High winds have produced thick wind slabs in lee terrain in the alpine and open treeline areas. Below 1400 m, periods of rain and elevated freezing levels will have produced moist snow surfaces.

Snowpack Details

SurfaceAbove 1400 m dry loose storm snow. Wind affected in open areas. Below 1400 m moist to wet snow.
UpperAbove 1400 m 60-90 cm of unconsolidated dry storm snow.
MidRounding storm snow with varying densities.
LowerLower 20-30 cm melt freeze crust/facet combo.

Past Weather

60-90 cm of new snow was deposited at treeline elevations and above since the last bulletin. This new snow accumulation was coupled with strong winds mainly from the SE. Freezing levels were around the 1300 m mark with snow levels resting a few hundred meters below that.

Weather Forecast

WEDNESDAY - 15-30 mm of precipitation with freezing levels around 1200 m. Winds moderate from the SW veering SE.

THURSDAY - 35-50 mm of precipitation with freezing levels spiking around 1900 m then dropping to 500 m. Winds strong from the west.

FRIDAY - 5-10 mm of precipitation with freezing levels around 600 m. Winds moderate from the SE

Posted on Wednesday December 19, 2018 by Dan Goodwin

Past Bulletins