THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 23, 2016 @ 6:22 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 22, 2016 @ 6:22 am
Issued by -
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The avalanche danger today is MODERATE above 6,000 feet. New snow combined with increasing winds out of the west-northwest will increase the avalanche danger throughout the day above 7,000 feet on the east half of the compass. Be sure to evaluate and reevaluate your terrain decisions through the day as the snow and winds increase. Below 6,000 feet the danger is LOW due to freezing overnight temperatures starting to 'lock up' surface snow.

How to read the advisory


  • Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
Avalanche Problem 1: Wind Slab
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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.

Avalanche Problem 2: Storm Slab
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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. 

advisory discussion

 

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. 

recent observations

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. 

Remember your information can save lives. If you see anything we should know about, let us know by clicking the OBSERVATION tab at the top of the page. Or by calling/emailing George, Dave, or Kent directly 208-634-0419 or forecast@payetteavlalanche.org.

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!

weather

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.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the NOAA-NWS
McCall Airport at 5021 feet.
  Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather: Snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 39. West wind 5 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Total daytime snow accumulation of around an inch possible. A 40 percent chance of snow showers, mainly before midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 23. West northwest wind 5 to 7 mph becoming calm in the evening. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible. A slight chance of rain and snow showers after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 40. Calm wind becoming southwest 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Temperatures: High 39 deg. F. Low 23 deg. F. High 40 deg. F.
Wind direction: west west-northwest southwest
Wind speed: 5-11 5-7 5-7
Expected snowfall: around an inch in. less than one inch in. 0 in.
Granite Mountain at 7700 feet.
  Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather: Snow showers. High near 34. West northwest wind 11 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible. Snow showers likely, mainly before midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 20. Northwest wind 6 to 14 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible. A 30 percent chance of snow showers, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 36. Light and variable wind becoming southwest 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Temperatures: High 34 deg. F. Low 20 deg. F. High 36 deg. F.
Wind direction: west-northwest northwest southwest
Wind speed: 11-16 6-14 5-9
Expected snowfall: 2-4 in. 1-3 in. less than half an inch in.
Disclaimer

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.