Saturday February 16, 2019
Travel & Terrain Advice
Keep an eye out for changing conditions as you travel this weekend. Wind speed and snowfall amounts will vary geographically on the island and therefore it is important that you look for signs of unstable snow particularly if you observe snow moving with the winds. If winds in your area are transporting snow then you need to refrain from travelling in “lee” areas below ridges, mountaintops and in terrain depressions that can “catch” wind driven snow. These types of areas listed above will likely be areas to trigger avalanches as a result of fresh snow available for transport and the moderate winds.
On Sunday, the freezing level could rise to 1,100M of elevation in certain regions on the island, thus increasing the possibility of triggering potential wind slabs. On Monday, the freezing level will drop down well below treeline, however the winds will increase from Moderate to Strong and again wind slab issues could be a hazard in the Alpine where the snow will remain cold and dry and therefore available to be relocated.
The approximate 30-60 cm of dry powder snow potentially available for transport could be redistributed by this weekends winds. The wind slab issue may not be a problem in your region, the North end of the island is likely to receive the brunt of strong winds and could be the area where wind slabs may be most prevalent. Given the more substantial amount of available dry powder snow we could see deeper wind slabs being triggered in leeward aspects. We could expect likely triggering of avalanches (up to size 2) on terrain below ridges, in depressions and on leeward areas at mountaintop and ridgetop.
The snowpack is very well settled. Our main concern lies in storm snow and surface wind slab instabilities that may be an issue in your area. The freezing level will rise to near mountain top on Sunday Feb 17th, this could increase the likelihood of triggering wind slabs.
|Surface||30 - 60cm of dry powder snow.|
|Upper||thick 10cm melt freeze crust at treeline and a 3cm thick melt freeze crust above treeline|
|Mid||Well bonded midpack that does include two weaker "dormant" layers (Facet layer and Surface Hoar layer)|
Cool Temperatures, mostly light winds and light amounts of precipitation throughout the island’s mountain terrain.
Saturday: 3 to 17 cm of new snow, Temperature 0 to -6, Light to Moderate Winds shifting from the North to the South, Freezing Level 500M
Sunday: 0 to 1 cm of new snow, Temperature +4 to -9, Light to Moderate Winds from the North, Freezing Level 1,100M
Monday: 0 to 1cm of new snow, Temperature -1 to -11, Moderate to Strong Winds from the North, Freezing Level 500M
Posted on Saturday February 16, 2019 by Ryan Shelly