Avalanche Forecast Cascades - North West

Date Issued: Valid Until:

Andrew Kiefer,

Avalanche Forecast

Tue Jan. 8th ยท 6:07PM

Alpine

Danger Ratings High

Treeline

Danger Ratings Considerable

Below Treeline

Danger Ratings Considerable
Storm Slabs Storm Slabs
Loose Wet Loose Wet

Alpine

Danger Ratings High

Treeline

Danger Ratings Considerable

Below Treeline

Danger Ratings Considerable
The bottom line: Heavy snowfall, strong winds, and high snow levels will create very dangerous avalanche conditions. Natural avalanches are likely at upper elevations. Only travel in the mountains if you are confident in your ability to avoid avalanche terrain.

Snowpack and Avalanche Discussion

Several human-triggered avalanches were reported recently in the Mt. Baker area. On Tuesday, observers witnessed rapidly changing conditions as winds increased and began transporting snow. On steep, wind-drifted slopes near and above treeline, it was easy to trigger small avalanches 8-16in deep. Although most avalanches were small, some ran a few hundred feet downslope.

Problems

Storm Slabs

Storm Slabs

Heavy snowfall will build fresh storm slabs over the next 24 hours. Wind-loaded slopes will develop thicker and more reactive slabs. Greater snow accumulations at upper elevations will create the most dangerous conditions. Avalanches within new snow could easily bury a person. Give the storm snow time to stabilize. Look for obvious signs of unstable snow like shooting cracks, collapses, and recent avalanches. Avoid travel in and below avalanche terrain during periods of heavy precipitation.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: All elevations.

Likelihood

Very Likely

Expected Size

2 - 3
Loose Wet

Loose Wet

Snow levels may climb to 5000ft on Wednesday. Plenty of cold dry snow from recent storms exists at the snow surface. Rain may saturate these dry snow layers producing wet avalanches. Avoid avalanche terrain during periods of rain on Wednesday. If wet avalanches run downslope, they could entrain large amounts of snow and even trigger slab avalanches. Look for roller balls and pinwheels as indicators of weakening snow surfaces. Avoid gullies and other confined terrain features where debris could pile up and increase the consequences of even a small avalanche.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: Treeline, Below Treeline.

Likelihood

Likely

Expected Size

2 - 3