Parks Canada Adam Greenberg, Parks Canada

Waterton Lakes National Park Avalanche Forecast

Jan 16th, 2020 4:49PM

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

Rising temperatures and increasing winds will keep the hazard elevated over the next few days.

Summary

Weather Forecast

Temperatures are uncertain on Friday as the arctic air mass is displaced by warmer pacific air, with models giving us a wide range of townsite temperatures anywhere between -2 and -30 degrees celsius. What is certain is things will warm up over the next few days bringing flurries and moderate to strong ridgetop winds out of the west

Snowpack Summary

Continued low density storm snow will present itself as blower pow over facetted snow down low, and windslab as you transition into treeline terrain. The December crust (present up to 1800m) is deteriorating with cold temps. The mid snowpack has been facetting with cold temperatures, and a weak facet/ melt freeze crust still lurks at the base.

Avalanche Summary

No new avalanches observed.

Confidence

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

Problems

Wind Slabs

An icon showing Wind Slabs

Likelihood

Likely

Expected Size

1 - 2.5

Increasing westerly winds will continue to form windslabs in the alpine and treeline. Be aware of the potential for buried windslabs in unexpected places.

  • 937
  • Variable winds may create pockets of wind slab in some unexpected locations.

Aspects:

All aspects.

Elevations:

Alpine, Treeline.

Loose Dry

An icon showing Loose Dry

Likelihood

Likely

Expected Size

1 - 1.5

Watch out for fast-moving dry loose avalanches in steep terrain, especially if temperatures warm quickly.

  • Be cautious with gully features.

Aspects:

All aspects.

Elevations:

All elevations.

Valid until: Jan 19th, 2020 4:00PM