Avalanche Forecast

Issued: Apr 16th, 2023 4:00PM

The alpine rating is moderate, the treeline rating is moderate, and the below treeline rating is moderate. Known problems include Storm Slabs and Loose Wet.

Avalanche Canada jpercival, Avalanche Canada


A potential for up to 30 cm of new snow is likely to form into a storm slab, be especially diligent as the temps warm and the sun comes out.

Avoid steep slopes that are getting baked in the sun.

Expect variable snowpack conditions as we transition from winter to spring.




Avalanche Summary

On Sunday, near Fernie, A large (size 2) avalanche on a north west aspect at approx. 2000 m was initiated during daytime warming and direct solar influence.

If you head out in the backcountry, let us know what you are seeing by submitting a report to the Mountain Information Network.

Snowpack Summary

Dynamic spring weather has resulted in variable snow surface conditions. A wet storm last week soaked the upper snowpack. Cold overnight temperatures have turned this moist snow into a frozen crust, except in areas where dry snow covered and insulated it.

The mid snowpack is generally settled and strong, except in areas with snow depths less than 150 cm. In these lower snow areas, the mid-pack is likely weaker and more faceted.

Below treeline, expect to find moist or refrozen surfaces, and a shrinking snowpack that is isothermal during the heat of the day.

The lower snowpack includes a layer of weak sugary crystals near the ground. This layer has shown signs of gaining strength, and it has not produced recent avalanche activity in this area.

Weather Summary

Sunday Night

Cloudy with increased snowfall amounts expected around the Fernie area. Snowfall amounts near Moyie lake are expected to be 5-10 cm., The Fernie area and eastern boundaries will receive between 10-30 cm . Freezing level 2000 m descending to 1400 m. Treeline low around 1 °C. Moderate to strong southwest ridgetop wind.


Mostly clear with sun. Potential for a trace amount of new snow in the am. Freezing level 1300 m, rising to 1500 m in the afternoon. Treeline high around 1°C. Moderate southwest ridgetop wind.


Mix of sun and cloud. 1-5 cm of snow expected in the alpine. Freezing level 1500 m. Treeline low around 1 °C. Moderate southwest ridgetop wind


Mix of sun and cloud. No new precipitation is forecast. Freezing level 1600 m. Treeline low around 1 °C. Moderate to light west ridgetop wind

More details can be found in the Mountain Weather Forecast.

Terrain and Travel Advice

  • Watch for unstable snow on specific terrain features, especially when the snow is moist or wet.
  • Be alert to conditions that change throughout the day.
  • Even brief periods of direct sun could produce natural avalanches.


Storm Slabs

An icon showing Storm Slabs

Potential for up to 30 cm of new snow over both melt freeze crusts and old well settled surface snow will rapidly settle into a slab once temperatures begin to warm and especially when the sun comes out.

Aspects: All aspects.

Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.



Expected Size

1 - 2

Loose Wet

An icon showing Loose Wet

During periods of daytime warming and sunshine, expect the surface snow to be unstable on slopes that face the sun.

A wet storm added a lot of moisture and heat to the upper snowpack earlier this week.

If you see signs of loose wet instability, like snow that feels like a slurpy, or clumps up and pinwheels down a slope, move to less steep and more shaded terrain.

Aspects: South East, South, South West, West.

Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.



Expected Size

1 - 2

Valid until: Apr 17th, 2023 4:00PM