Moderate - Timing, track, or intensity of incoming weather system is uncertain on Saturday
Little change is expected Saturday, but it looks like a frontal system should track into the region late Saturday into Saturday night. We're expecting it to be quite convective which makes it hard to pin down total snow amounts, but 10 to 20 cm by Sunday morning is within the realm of possibility. Stay tuned for more details.FRIDAY NIGHT: Freezing level around 1500 m, light to moderate west/southwest wind, trace of snow possible. SATURDAY: Scattered cloud cover in the morning building to overcast in the afternoon, freezing level around 1600 m, light southwest wind in the morning building to strong southwest wind in the afternoon, 5 to 10 cm of snow is possible in the afternoon. Another 5 to 10 cm is expected Saturday night.SUNDAY: Broken cloud cover, freezing level around 1600 m, moderate to strong west/southwest wind, trace of snow possible. MONDAY: Scattered cloud cover, freezing level rising to around 1700 m, light variable wind, trace of snow possible.
On Thursday, explosive control was able to initiate a few loose dry avalanches up to size 1.5 which failed in the recent storm snow. In the afternoon skier controlled loose wet avalanches were easily triggered at treeline and below up to size 1.5 on sunny aspects. No natural avalanche activity was reported and no new avalanches were noted in alpine elevations. Its important to make observations with changing conditions through the day and know when to pull back or dive into your line. If you're unsure, its best to have a conservative approach.
15 cm Thursday night brings 20-35 cm of recent accumulated snow since last weekend which sits above a supportive crust at treeline and in the alpine. During the heat of the day, especially under direct sun, the snow surface becomes moist or wet almost everywhere. The exception being high elevation north facing features. Steep, north facing, alpine terrain may still hold a cold, dry, snowpack where isolated reactive wind slabs may exist and a well settled slab rests on weak facets (sugary snow). Although unlikely, human triggering of persistent slabs on this layer may still be possible, especially in rocky alpine terrain with a shallow or highly variable depth snowpack. Below treeline the snowpack is becoming isothermal.