Friday December 4, 2020

Sunday December 6, 2020
Saturday December 5, 2020
Friday December 4, 2020
Confidence: Moderate - A developing early season snowpack with some reports and field observations.

Main Concerns

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

Travel & Terrain Advice

Before you head out this winter consider helping fund this essential bulletin, we receive very little funding and generate the majority of our funds thru auctions and community fundraisers. Please view our current online raffle at https://viavalanche.myshopify.com/ and buy a raffle ticket with an opportunity to win a limited edition Cumberland Gap Splitboard OR Limited Edition Ramblers Skis and workshop tour from Kindred custom snowboard and skis.

The early season snow pack is still forming and in many places under snow hazards are still present. Be aware than many creeks gullies and other hazards remain uncovered or just covered and may present as a surprise.

Use extra caution especially in the alpine and upper tree line when transitioning in wind effected areas such as ridge tops onto north aspect terrain that is likely to have been loaded from past wind.

Be very cognizant of warming and when rain falls on snow and it becomes unconsolidated. Even a small amount of loose wet snow that is available for entrainment can cause a small slide to gain enough mass to push a mountain traveler into or over a terrain trap.

Avalanche Summary

No new avalanches have been reported or observed in the past 48 hour period.

If you have any information about conditions or activity in the back country or If you have observed avalanche activity or been involved in an avalanche, please send your observations to us at forecaster@islandavalanchebulletin.com.

You can also share any observations, trip reports, photos, or join in discussions on our Facebook Page.

Avalanche Problems

Loose Wet

This problem will become wide spread once freezing levels and temperatures begin to rise. Near the end of the forecast period (Sunday) Expect this problem to become very touchy to human triggering as temps rise and rain begins to fall on snow.

Location: Found Tree line and below on all aspects.

Possibility: Triggering of this avalanche problem is very likely to certain from light loads such as skiers. Natural avalanches are likely to very likely.

Size: If triggered expect these avalanches to be small, but will have the potential to gain mass and become large size 2 .

Wind Slab

Past storm snow has been transported by moderate to strong southerly wind, wind slab can now be found on predominantly North aspects. Expect as temperatures increase over this forecast period that rapidly settling snow may cause winds slabs to become increasingly sensitive to human triggering.

Location: Found in the alpine and upper tree line on north aspects .

Possibility: Triggering of this avalanche problem is possible to likely from light loads such as skiers. Natural avalanches are possible .

Size: If triggered expect these avalanches to be large size 2.

Snowpack Summary

The early season snow pack is highly variable in terms of depth and current surface conditions . In the alpine up to 200 cm has been reported with tree line areas observed at 75 -90 cm. Due to the continue warm and clear conditions, below tree line is receding fast with 35-40 cm reported. Tree line and below is still very disconnected with vegetation and ground roughness present as you descend in elevation. Tree line and below all but the most shaded north aspect terrain is becoming moist at the surface, In the alpine a upper crust has formed with some preserved snow on top. The mid and lower snowpack is well settled and dense with no reports of basal instability.

Snowpack Details

SurfaceA variety of surface conditions dependent on elevation and aspect. Alpine areas present as a crust with most of the treeline and below tree line terrain beginning to become moist on all aspects.
Uppersettled and in alpine areas a melt freeze crust has been observed.
Midsettled and dense
Lowersettled with no basal instability.

Past Weather

Initially in November, the winter weather arrived like a lion and we received cooler than average temperatures, very strong wind and high precipitation amounts. The past week has been warm, clear and sunny with no precipitation.

Weather Forecast

Beginning Friday the current ridge of high pressure will begin to migrate to the east. This will be followed by an upper westerly flow that will begin to embrace the island region and bring with it unsettled conditions with slowly dropping freezing levels and temperatures. .

Friday: 0-5mm, Winds Moderate from the South West, Freezing levels to 2500 meters.

Saturday: 0-5 mm, Winds Moderate from the South West, Freezing levels to 1600 meters.

Sunday: 5-10mm , Winds Moderate from the South West, Freezing levels 1500 meters.

Posted on Friday December 4, 2020 by Jesse Percival

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