Loose/Wet slide potential remains today as temperatures overnight hovered near, and above freezing. The high temperature in the mountains should reach 44 degrees this afternoon. The amount of loose snow is pretty limited, but a skier or rider could easily get a wet slide going in terrain steeper than 35 degrees. Roller balls, point releases and collapsing or unsupportable crusts are a good sign that the snow is warming quickly and it's time to move to a cooler aspect.
This winter has not had any shortage of snow, and most of the storms have been accompanaied by stout winds out of the South-Southwest. All of this wind and snow does a great job of forming large cornices on our ridgelines. The cornices on our ridges right now are overhanging, and have been failing under their own weight with the warm temperatures over the last 10 days. They are also becoming extremely sensitive to added weight, and will break back farther than you think as pictured on this ridgeline near Storm Peak on Monday.
Older windslabs can still be found in upper elevations on leeward terrain. With not much snow left for transporting and warm temperatures, these slabs should be stabilizing and becoming less of a problem. Winds will pick up today, and calm down tonight, transporting whatever little new snow accumulates into leeward slopes creating a new crop of shallow, dense and potentially sensitive windslabs. Keep an eye out for signs of freshly drifted or sculpted snow for the fresh wind slabs, and stiff snow with a chalky surface for the older wind slabs.
Warm temperatures are forecasted to persist through Friday evening when the snow line should come down from 7500 feet to 4500 feet by Sunday night. Today, expect to see similar warm high temperatures reaching around 44 in the valley, and 41 in the upper elevations. Winds will be greatest in the upper elevations out of the Southwest 16-21 Mph, with gusts up to 37 Mph. Not much new snow is forecasted until Saturday. Today we will receive just under an inch in the upper elevations, and little to no new snow in the Long Valley. Temperatures overnight should dip just a few degrees below freezing.
This avalanche advisory is provided through a partnership between the Payette National Forest and the Payette Avalanche Center. This advisory covers the West Central Mountains between Hard Butte on the north and Council Mountain on the south. This advisory applies only to backcountry areas outside established ski area boundaries. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This advisory expires at midnight on the posted day unless otherwise noted. The information in this advisory is provided by the USDA Forest Service who is solely responsible for its content.