Backcountry Avalanche Forecast

Sawtooth Mountains

Avalanche Warning In Effect

ISSUEDTuesday, November 19, 2019 - 11:34AMEXPIRESSaturday, November 23, 2019 - 11:34AM

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Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 7:10AM
Friday, November 22, 2019 - 6:00AM
Chris Lundy

Stubborn wind slabs exist in unusual locations including well below ridgelines and on the sides of mid-slope gullies. Use visual clues like snow blown off of trees, new snow drifts, and fresh cornices to gauge where wind slabs have formed. Avoid any slope with signs of wind drifted snow.

Avalanche Danger

Thursday, November 21, 2019
Upper ElevationConsiderable (3)
Middle ElevationConsiderable (3)
Lower ElevationModerate (2)


Friday, November 22, 2019
Considerable (3)
Moderate (2)
Low (1)


Friday, November 22, 2019
  • Low (1)
  • Moderate (2)
  • Considerable (3)
  • High (4)
  • Extreme (5)

Avalanche Problem #1

Wind Slab
Problem Type
Upper Elevation
Middle Elevation
Lower Elevation
Very Likely
Almost Certain
Small (D1)
Large (D2)
Very Large (D3)
Historic (D4-5)
Goat peak wind!
Goat peak wind!

This is a really interesting discussion. You should be careful because:

  • Reason 1
  • Reason 2

Very dangerous!

Forecast Discussion

Strong winds formed stubborn, new slabs this weekend. Reports from the field in nearby zones indicate wind loading in unusual locations including much further down the slope than normal and on cross-loaded gully features. Wind slabs like this can be tricky. They often don’t seem very reactive. This can lure you out onto the slab. Using visual clues can help you identify and avoid wind loaded slopes. If you see fresh cornices, wind drifted snow, or feel firm, hollow, surface snow, wind slabs are nearby. We may see these slabs grow deeper at higher elevations, as moderate north winds transport more snow Monday.

If you use the nice weather to travel to higher elevations or into more remote areas take the time to stop and observe the snow. Due to stormy weather we have not received any information from higher elevations in quite some time.

Weather Summary

Sawtooth MountainsLast Night(5PM - 5AM)Today(5PM - 5AM)Tonight(5PM - 5AM)
Sawtooth F 7 F 6 F
Partly Cloudy Clear Increasing
Moderate Increasing Decreasing
12-24" 24-30" 5 " 5 "
1.2" 2.4" 4 " 2 "

Weather Forecast

An upper-level ridge of high pressure in the eastern North Pacific is directing Pacific frontal systems well north of the area, providing cool, dry weather over the region. Skies are mostly clear Monday afternoon under stable, high pressure, with the exception of some low clouds lingering near the crest and lower elevation passes.

The ridge should nudge inland overnight Monday and flatten on New Years Day allowing for some increase in high clouds, mainly over the Olympics and north part.

As the ridge moves inland on New Year's day a shift to light westerly flow across the Cascades will allow for gradually rising freezing levels.

The ridge should maintain dry weather through Wednesday before precipitation associated with an approaching front arrives.

Sawtooth MountainsLast Night(5PM - 5AM)Today(5PM - 5AM)Tonight(5PM - 5AM)
Sawtooth F 7 F 6 F
Partly Cloudy Clear Increasing
Moderate Increasing Decreasing
12-24" 24-30" 5 " 5 "
1.2" 2.4" 4 " 2 "
Smoky & Boulder MountainsLast Night(5PM - 5AM)Today(5PM - 5AM)Tonight(5PM - 5AM)
Smokys F 4 F 8 F
Clear Partly Cloudy Mostly Cloudy
Calm Light Moderate
0" 0" 0 " 0 "
1" 2" 0 " 1 "
Soldier MountainsLast Night(5PM - 5AM)Today(5PM - 5AM)Tonight(5PM - 5AM)
soldier F 8 F 8 F
Clear Clear Clear
Strong Extreme Extreme
1" 2" 3 " 3 "
.3" .3" 3 " 4 "
Wood River ValleyLast Night(5PM - 5AM)Today(5PM - 5AM)Tonight(5PM - 5AM)
WRV F 3 F 4 F
Clear Clear Overcast
Moderate Moderate Moderate
1" 2" 3 " 4 "
1" 2" 3 " 4 "
This information is provided by the U.S.D.A. Forest Service and describes general backcountry avalanche hazard and conditions.
It does not apply to ski areas and highways where avalanche mitigation is conducted.