South Coast Inland Avalanche Forecast

Issued: Jan 7th, 2022 4:00PM

Sat Jan 8th Current Conditions
Alpine Considerable Treeline Moderate Below Treeline Low
Sun Jan 9th 2 Day Outlook
Alpine Considerable Treeline Moderate Below Treeline Moderate
Mon Jan 10th 3 Day Outlook
Alpine Moderate Treeline Moderate Below Treeline Low

The alpine rating is considerable, the treeline rating is moderate, and the below treeline rating is low. Known problems include Wind Slabs.

Wind slabs may still be found in steep terrain at higher elevations. Head out with a conservative mindset and assess for slab development before committing yourself. 

Summary

Confidence

High - Confidence is due to a stable weather pattern with little change expected.

Weather Forecast

FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy with trace snowfall, 20 km/h southwest wind, alpine temperature -15 C.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy with snowfall, accumulation 2 to 5 cm, 30 km/h southwest wind, alpine temperature -12 C.

SUNDAY: Early-morning snowfall then clearing, accumulation 2 to 5 cm, 20 km/h south wind, alpine temperature -0 C, freezing level rising to 2100 m.

MONDAY: Cloudy with snowfall, accumulation 5 cm, 30 km/h southwest wind, alpine temperature -3 C, freezing level 1000 m.

Avalanche Summary

A few natural avalanches were observed in the north of the region on Thursday, which were likely triggered from the warming trend leading to Thursday night's storm. The avalanches included a few wind slabs at higher elevations in wind affected terrain, as well as an avalanche below treeline near valley bottom (see here for details). Loose wet avalanche activity was observed at lower elevations on Friday, which may have released during Thursday's overnight rain event.

Avalanche activity is expected to decrease into Saturday, although it may remain possible for humans to trigger slabs at higher elevations.

Snowpack Summary

Thursday night's storm dropped around 10 cm of snow in the north of the region and 30 cm in the south. The snow was associated with strong southwest wind, which likely formed new wind slabs in lee terrain features. Below about 1200 m, the precipitation fell as rain, producing a hard melt-freeze crust. This recent precipitation adds to the 50+ cm of snow that has fallen since January 1, which may overly sugary faceted grains that formed during the cold spell in late December.

Around 80 to 200 cm deep, a weak layer of faceted grains may be found above a melt-freeze crust that formed in early December. The layer is most prominent between 1700 and 2100 m. The last observed avalanche on this layer was around December 24, suggesting that this layer has become dormant. The most likely place to trigger it would be in thin, rocky snowpack areas.

The lower snowpack is well-settled and strong.

Terrain and Travel

  • Watch for newly formed and reactive wind slabs as you transition into wind affected terrain.
  • Continue to make conservative terrain choices while the storm snow settles and stabilizes.
  • Make observations and assess conditions continually as you travel.
  • Avoid thin areas like rock outcroppings where you're most likely to trigger avalanches failing on deep weak layers.

Problems

Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs

Likelihood

Possible-Likely

Expected Size

1 - 2

Recently formed wind slabs may remain reactive to human traffic on Saturday. The slabs formed from strong southeast to southwest wind. Use particular caution when entering lee terrain features near ridges. Storm slabs may also be found in sheltered terrain, particularly around Manning Park where the most snow has recently accumulated.

Aspects:

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

Elevations:

Alpine, Treeline.

Valid until: Jan 8th, 2022 4:00PM

Forecast Trend

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