New snow and light to moderate winds will add yet another layer of fresh wind slabs in high elevations today. However, due to this current storm coming from the west-northwest we have to increase our areas of concern for the wind slab problem we are dealing with today and for the next few days. Be on the lookout for old wind slabs on the slopes that have any north aspects, while today's fresh wind slabs will be on the east half of the compass and even on south facing aspects later in the day if forecasted winds come to fruition. Fresh wind slabs will be in the 4-12 inch range and will be fairly touchy.
Also, with the winds gusting into the 20's, the snow could be blowing lower on the the slope than you may expect causing wind slabs mid-slope.
If we do not get the light to moderate winds that are forecasted (or you are in an area sheltered from the wind), and the temps rise through the day we could see the development of storm slabs. Storm slabs are most common when higher density snow falls on lower density snow (wetter snow covers the light pow), and there is insufficient wind to have transported the new snow. With current temps at 6 am in the low 20's and today's high temp in the low 30's, expect to see the snow become of a higher water content (denser) as the day progresses.
This morning while the snow is light and dry, keep loose dry avalanches in the back of your mind as well.
With winter coming and going around the advisory area, now is not the time to let your guard down when traveling in the mountains. Weather changes avalanche conditions quickly and we need to remember the basics to stay safe until most all the snow is in the rivers.
It was a mixed bag day yesterday. Rain, snow, graupel, sun, cloudy...depending on where you were. Expect to find the new snow sitting on a multitude of different bed surfaces due to this mix bag of conditions. Areas that received brief, but heavy graupel accumulations are especially concerning today should a wind/storm slab develop on top this notoriously troublesome layer.
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If you are getting out and enjoying any spring skiing/riding we would like to know. What did you see, how was the snow? Any information is good information!
The mountains around the advisory area picked up 2-6 inches of new snow as of 6 am. Winds have been light out of the west-northwest, but are expected to increase through the day. Expect to see another 2-4 inches fall through the day today, with west-northwest winds in the teens and gusting into the 20's and temps in the low 30's.
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.