Lizard Range and Flathead Avalanche Forecast

Issued: Apr 14th, 2021 4:00PM

Thu Apr 15th Current Conditions
Alpine Considerable Treeline Considerable Below Treeline Considerable
Fri Apr 16th 2 Day Outlook
Alpine Considerable Treeline Considerable Below Treeline Considerable
Sat Apr 17th 3 Day Outlook
Alpine Considerable Treeline Considerable Below Treeline Considerable

The alpine rating is considerable, the treeline rating is considerable, and the below treeline rating is considerable. Known problems include Loose Wet, Cornices and Wind Slabs.

As freezing levels rise, the likelihood for large cornice failures and wet loose avalanches will increase. Start early and plan to be off large slopes before the heat of the day. 

Check out the latest Forecaster's Blog for more information on managing current conditions. 

Summary

Confidence

Moderate - Uncertainty is due to how the snowpack will react to the forecast weather.

Weather Forecast

  

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Clear / Moderate, northeast ridgetop wind / alpine low temperature -3 / Freezing level 2000 m.

THURSDAY: Sunny / Light, northeast ridgetop wind / alpine high temperature 6 / Freezing level 2300 m.

FRIDAY: Sunny / Light, northeast ridgetop wind / alpine high temperature 8 / Freezing level 2500 m.

SATURDAY: Sunny / Light, northwest ridgetop wind / alpine high temperature 10 / Freezing level 2800 m.

Avalanche Summary

Numerous naturally triggered wet loose avalanches up to size 2.5 were reported near Fernie on Tuesday.

As freezing levels continue to rise and remain elevated overnight, the likelihood for large cornice failures and wet loose avalanches will increase. Cornice failures could trigger deeply buried weak layers on steep, rocky slopes with a shallow or thin to thick snowpack.

Snowpack Summary

Lingering wind slabs may still be reactive on steep slopes in the alpine; especially on northerly aspects. All other terrain is undergoing a melt-freeze cycle with successive days of warm sunny weather. 

The snowpack is overall strong and settled, although intense warming could potentially weaken deeper layers in steep, rocky terrain with a shallow or thin to thick snowpack. 

The snow line is slowly creeping up the mountains, making some access areas snow-free. 

Terrain and Travel

  • Extra caution is needed around cornices under the current conditions.
  • Avoid exposure to slopes that have cornices overhead.
  • As surface loses cohesion due to melting, loose wet avalanches become common in steeper terrain.
  • Back off slopes as the surface becomes moist or wet with rising temperatures.
  • Carefully evaluate steep lines for wind slabs.

Problems

Loose Wet

An icon showing Loose Wet

Likelihood

Likely

Expected Size

1 - 2.5

Expect natural wet loose avalanches to occur on solar aspects when the sun comes out.

Aspects:

East, South East, South, South West, West.

Elevations:

All elevations.

Cornices

An icon showing Cornices

Likelihood

Possible

Expected Size

1.5 - 2.5

Strong solar radiation and warming may trigger the large cornices that hang over ridgelines.

Aspects:

North, North East, East, South East, North West.

Elevations:

Alpine.

Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs

Likelihood

Unlikely-Possible

Expected Size

1 - 2

Watch for pockets of unstable snow on steep exposed slopes.

Aspects:

All aspects.

Elevations:

Alpine.

Valid until: Apr 15th, 2021 4:00PM

Forecast Trend

The latest forecast danger ratings, broken down to elevation. See how an elevation is trending.