Wednesday December 9, 2020

Friday December 11, 2020
Thursday December 10, 2020
Wednesday December 9, 2020
Confidence: Moderate - Limited Alpine Field Observations

Main Concerns

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

Travel & Terrain Advice

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Use caution and careful assessment when approaching wind effected terrain as wind slabs will be present and reactive to triggering from light triggers such as skiers.

Loose wet avalanche will persist at elevations 1500 meters and below. Even a small amount of loose wet snow can cause a small slide to gain enough mass to push a mountain traveler into or over a terrain trap.

Snow depths throughout the island range from 30 to 60 cm and 100 cm plus above the 1500 meter mark. Early season conditions exist. Stay alert for open creeks, tree wells, crevasses, or other exposed hazards.

Avalanche Summary

No new avalanches have been observed or reported. It is however very likely that during the past warming and rain event that a widespread natural avalanche event occurred on all aspects tree line and below. Numerous reports at these elevations in similar terrain to the east of our forecast region support this statement.

Avalanche Problems

Loose Wet

This problem will begin to stabilize and become stubborn to triggering as temperatures begin to cool.

Location: Found in the Alpine and Tree line, and could effect Below Tree Line terrain.

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

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

Wind Slab

Found on predominantly North aspects. This avalanche problem was formed during the past storms strong south west winds.

Location: North aspects and found in both the Alpine and the upper Tree line.

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

Size: If triggered expect these avalanches to be small, and on isolated terrain features large, size 2.

Snowpack Summary

The snowpack continued to shrink from the 1500m elevation and down. The entire snowpack at lower elevation is moist to wet with the upper 30cm becoming unconsolidated and presenting as isothermal. The past warming and heavy rainfall promoted melt and settlement with many areas at tree line becoming disconnected and below tree line most areas with any inclination have become disconnected. In the alpine new snow has been transported to north aspect terrain falling on a hard melt freeze crust. Beginning Wednesday morning the snowpack has begun to slowly become consolidated with the cooling temperatures.

Snowpack Details

SurfaceSurfaces moist to wet with upper Alpine scoured to the old melt freeze crust or wind loaded on north aspects.
UpperUnconsolidated and moist , beggining to settle in the upper elevations and as cooling occurs previous moist snow becoming consolidated.
MidSettled, Below Tree line unconsolidated.
LowerWell settled and dense.

Past Weather

Over the past 48 hours the forecast area received strong south west wind, high freezing levels and warm temperatures all combined with heavy precipitation. The western edge of the forecast area received 60-70 mm and the eastern dry side receiving 35- 40 mm. Precipitation fell as rain below 1500m and above this a mx of snow and rain fell up to the 2000m elevation mark.

Weather Forecast

Unsettled conditions will initially present, following this a weak ridge of high pressure will attempt to establish with freezing levels and temperatures slowly beginning to drop and cool.

Wednesday: 1-5 cm, Winds Moderate from the North East, Freezing levels to 900m, Temps @1500m -2.

Thursday: no new, Winds Light from the South East, Freezing levels to 900m, Temps @1500m -2.

Friday: 1-5 cm, Winds Light from the South West, Freezing levels 300m, Temps @1500m -5.

Posted on Wednesday December 9, 2020 by Jesse Percival

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