Monday December 23, 2019

Wednesday December 25, 2019
Tuesday December 24, 2019
Monday December 23, 2019
Confidence: Moderate - field observations limited to an isolated area

Main Concerns

Storm Slab - view Avalanche Problems for detailed information.

Travel & Terrain Advice

During periods of high hazard, travel in alpine avalanche terrain should be avoided. Storm slab sensitivity has begun to reduce and cautious and conservative route finding should focus on avoiding overhead hazard.

Early season low snow conditions exist at lower elevations, hazards such as creeks and rocks are just hiding under the snow-pack. Slow your pace and give plenty of time to maneuver around these hidden hazards.

Avalanche Summary

A few loose dry size one avalanches reported from very steep North aspect terrain between 1400 and 1500 meters.

Avalanche Problems

Storm Slab

Found in both the Alpine and at Treeline and on all aspects, expect this avalanche problem to be touchy to light triggers such as skiers. The chance of these avalanches being triggered is likely and when triggered may produce avalanches size two or greater.

Snowpack Summary

Low and shallow snow pack conditions exist with depths below tree line at 40 to 50 cm and treeline depths of 60 to 80 cm. The snow pack in the alpine is exceeding 100 centimeters.

Upper snow pack has just enough consolidation to produce significance shears that confirms there is the presence of slab properties. This upper to mid snow pack storm slab is sitting on a well developed layer of fragile surface hoar that is consistently producing moderate results when tested. The lower snow pack has a basal facet layer that appears to be bonding.

Sundays field observations; audible whumpfing was heard while traveling over the snow pack. Snow-pack testing and profiling at 1500 m on a North asp revealed a well developed surface hoar layer down 60 cm and during numerous compression tests produced sudden collapse and resistant planar results. Basal faceting in lower snow pack was found to be bonding and no results where recorded when testing this snow pack weakness.

Snowpack Details

SurfaceUnconsolidated new snow
UpperNumerous shears within sightly settled snow
MidBuried surface hoar size 2-6 mm
LowerBasal faceting

Past Weather

Over the previous forecast period, the western front ranges received in excess of 50 cm with the eastern drier side receiving 25-30 cm. Winds prevailed from both the south east and south west, starting as strong and tailing off to light. Beginning Sunday, skies cleared, temperatures dropped and winds where generally light. Freezing levels fluctuated ,but have consistently remained below 1000 meters.

Weather Forecast

A period of cool and clear will be short lived as a series of low pressure storm fronts will move into the region. Expect early Tuesday increasing winds and precipitation. Freezing levels will continue to remain below 1000 meters bringing much needed snow to mountainous areas.

Monday Nil precipitation , Winds Light from the North east , Freezing levels 300 meters.

Tuesday 10 to 20 mm of precipitation , Winds moderate to strong from the South east, Freezing levels 400 meters.

Wednesday 5 to 10 mm of precipitation , Winds light from the South east, Freezing levels 700 meters.

Posted on Monday December 23, 2019 by Jesse Percival

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