Vancouver Island Avalanche Forecast

Mar 18th, 2020 2:00AM

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

No new field observations or reports from the island.

Summary

Past Weather

Daytime temps warmed considerable with freezing levels rising to above 2000 meters. Overnight the temperatures rapidly cooled with freezing levels racing back down to sea level. The sky remained mostly clear with moderate to strong North winds persisting, especially during the overnight period.

Weather Forecast

An omega block is currently in the region bringing to our forecast area, clear sky, warm temperatures and continued moderate north wind. Wednesday: No new snow, Winds Light from the North East, Freezing levels to 1700 meters.Thursday: No new snow, Winds Light from the East, Freezing levels to 1500 meters.Friday: No new snow, Winds Light from the North West, Freezing levels 1700 meters.

Terrain Advice

Reduce your exposure to steep sun-affected slopes and avoid them as the snow surface becomes moist or wet.Provide a wide berth to cornices and avoid travelling either above or below them.

Snowpack Summary

Periods of warming followed by cooling has produced a surface crust on at all aspects and elevations. The exception to the crust is on directly north facing terrain at elevations above 1200 meters. On steep south facing terrain intense sun effect combined with sky rocketing air temperatures unconsolidated the upper snow pack becoming moist down 20 centimeters. Very large cornices began to droop with no noted failures. The north winds continued to moderately transport available surface snow, loading the north aspects just below ridge top. The mid and lower snow-pack continues to settle and strengthen.

Snowpack Details

  • Surface: Moist surfaces on solar aspects, wind scoured on south aspects, and some wind loaded areas on north aspect
  • Upper: Moist on solar aspects, wind scoured on south aspects, and some wind loaded areas on north aspect
  • Mid: A variety of old nonreactive crusts can be found.
  • Lower: Well settled

Confidence

High - Consistent weather conditions and high degree of agreement with the weather models.

Problems

Loose Wet

An icon showing Loose Wet

Likelihood

Expected Size

1 - 1
Expect to find the most problematic areas to be on steep slopes that face the sun. **Location:** South Aspects and at all elevations **Possibility:** Triggering of this avalanche problem is possible from light loads such as skiers. Natural avalanches are unlikely to possible. **Size:** If triggered expect these avalanches to be small, but if a terrain trap is present expect these small avalanches to be big enough to push a traveler over a cliff. On isolated terrain features that are directly south and steep large avalanches to size two are possible.

Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs

Likelihood

Expected Size

1 - 1
Moderate sustained North winds have continued to transport any available snow to south aspects forming fresh wind slab. **Location:** South aspects and found in both the Alpine and at Tree line. **Possibility:** Triggering of this avalanche problem is possible to likely from light loads such as skiers. Natural avalanches are possible . **Size:** If triggered expect these avalanches to be small size 1, and on isolated terrain features large, size 2 .

Valid until: Mar 19th, 2020 2:00AM