Waterton Lakes National Park Avalanche Forecast

Mar 4th, 2020 4:11PM

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

Hazard will increase dramatically on Friday and Saturday as Waterton receives a heavy snow load on the weekend.

Summary

Weather Forecast

Thursday: Mostly sunny. SW wind 30km/h gusting up to 90km/h. Freezing level 1700m

Friday: Mainly cloudy with scattered, wet flurries. SW wind 20km/h gusting 80. Freezing level 1500m

Saturday: Snow. 20- 40 cm is expected in the townsite. Moderate NE winds. Freezing level valley bottom. Potential upslope conditions.

Snowpack Summary

The weekend will have a widespread & reactive storm slab. As of Wednesday, strong-extreme SW winds with intermittent snowfall has aided windslab development. These fresh windslabs are well bonded to the multiple sun & temperature crusts present in the upper snowpack. The midpack is strong, though weaker basal facets still lurk in thin areas.

Avalanche Summary

No new avalanche observations.

Significant cornice growth noted throughout Waterton Park.

Confidence

Timing, track, or intensity of incoming weather system is uncertain on Friday

Problems

Storm Slabs

An icon showing Storm Slabs

Likelihood

Very Likely

Expected Size

1 - 2.5

Up to 35 mm of precipitation is expected  Friday pm into Saturday. This could translate to between 20 and 50cm of snow in Waterton park. Avoid avalanche terrain during periods of heavy loading and give new snow time to settle.

  • Keep an eye out for reverse loading created by an upslope storm.

Aspects:

All aspects.

Elevations:

All elevations.

Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs

Likelihood

Possible - Unlikely

Expected Size

1 - 2

Watch out for heavily loaded pockets near ridgetops or in cross loaded features.

  • Use caution in lee areas in the alpine and treeline. Recent storm snow has formed wind slabs.

Aspects:

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

Elevations:

Alpine, Treeline.

Valid until: Mar 7th, 2020 4:00PM