The CNFAIC will be issuing intermittent snow and avalanche updates until there is enough snow to warrant daily avalanche advisories. We are closely monitoring a series of storms this weekend and you may see your first forecast any day now. Keep an eye on this page and be sure to ‘like’ us on facebook where we also share additional updates.
Friday November 23rd Update:
CHANGING WEATHER: A low pressure system is moving into our region bringing warm, wet and windy weather. A high wind warning was issued for Saturday for Turnagain Arm and higher elevations. Easterly winds will increase into the 50’s with gusts in the 80’s mph. Expect snow flurries to transition to heavy rain tomorrow (Saturday) as temps increase and the storm intensifies mid-day. At this point a lot of uncertainty exists around how high the rain/snow line will go. Right now it looks like an 1″ of rain will fall below 1500′, and 12-15″ of wet snow in the upper elevations. Sunday and Monday look similar, possibly warmer, with another round of heavy rain and strong winds.
If the precip does fall as snow it’s important to have a good mental picture of what the surface conditions look like. Snow line is betwen 1500′ to 2000′ with exposed vegetation in the lower elevations. Rain last weekend followed by cool temps this week formed a crust to ridgetops where snow exists. On top of this crust is surface hoar formed from clear and humid conditions this week. Basically we might have a perfect recipe for avalanche activity in the upper elevations. Although we’re not issuing a danger rating quite yet, keep your eyes on Sunburst and Center Ridge weather stations. If temps stay below freezing and we get snow instead of rain we may see a forecast as early as Sunday or Monday.
Should you decide to venture into the mountains this weekend, be aware of changing weather and red flag warnings. Avoid avalanche terrain if you see any of these obvious signs of instability:
- Recent avalanches (24-48 hrs)
- Cracks in the snow that shoot out from you
- Whumpfing (collapsing) of the snowpack
- Rapid changes in weather (snow/rain/wind/temperature)
Surface hoar and a thin layer of snow is covering the vegetation of lower Sunburst. Firm snow begins around alder-line (2000′).
The perfect conditions for surface hoar growth are temps in the teens to 20F’s, high humidity, and light winds. Sunburst weather station is at 3800′.
Snowline is a little lower on Tincan, just above1500′
East facing slopes of Reapeat Offender on Seattle Ridge on Friday, November 23. Snowline is around 2000′.
Looking into Lynx Creek drainage, Northern aspects.