Issued: Jan 6th, 2024 1:30PM
Change is in the air. As the first cold snap approaches, we're expecting unsettled conditions that will bring some snow. Amounts will be variable and difficult to forecast so keep a close eye on locally changing weather patterns.
Some isolated loose dry avalanches and sluffs from very steep and prominent cliffs. Poor visibility prevented a good look around.
Another 4-8cm fell last night, giving us up to 15cm near the divide and along the main ranges of the Spray valley but tapering with elevation. Winds have been in the light to moderate range at ridgetop with frequent gusts from a variety of directions. Windslabs have begun to form in all lee areas. By tomorrow, they will be sitting on a variety of old surfaces with lots of variability given the amount of exposed gravel and old hard slab. The buried crust will likely tolerate and support this new load. Reactive windslabs and loose dry avalanches will be the main concern.
The forecast is calling for 6cm tonight, but that amount could be higher as the flurries get hung up on the divide. Even if its only 6, that will put us at about the 15cm mark for the past 2 days and possibly more. Tomorrow will see continued flurries with temperatures dropping during the day. Minus 16 will be the rough target for temperatures. Winds will be shifting to an upslope (easterly) flow tonight and stay that way until noon tomorrow when they'll shift back to westerly. As the weather fronts duke it out there could be gusts from variable wind directions. Snow amounts, wind direction/intensity will likely vary from the forecasts. Pay attention to rapidly changing conditions.
More details can be found in the Mountain Weather Forecast.
Terrain and Travel Advice
- In areas where deep persistent slabs may exist, avoid shallow or variable depth snowpacks and unsupported terrain features.
- Dial back your terrain choices if you are seeing more than 20 cm of new snow.
- Be carefull around freshly wind loaded features.
Deep Persistent Slabs
This problem will be with us all season. At higher elevations there is more concern that these deep persistent weak layers could be human triggerable.
Aspects: North, North East, East, South East, South.
There could be soft wind slabs that have developed near ridges, cols and summits. Watch for snow transport on ridges as a clue for the severity of this problem. Bottoms of big cliffs could also have slabs formed from spindrift.
Aspects: All aspects.
Elevations: Alpine, Treeline.
Valid until: Jan 7th, 2024 4:00PM