THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON February 10, 2017 @ 6:45 am
Avalanche Advisory published on February 9, 2017 @ 6:45 am
Issued by George Halcom - Payette Avalanche Center
bottom line

The avalanche danger is HIGH above 6000 feet due to natural avalanches being likely and human triggered avalanches being very likely. Avoid steep, wind affected terrain today where rain will weaken the snow pack up to 8,500 feet. The danger is CONSIDERABLE below 6000 feet where human triggered avalanches are likely in steep terrain saturated by rain.  

How to read the advisory


  • Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.
Avalanche Problem 1: Loose Wet
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Rain is forecasted all the way up to about 8,500 feet today. Natural wet avalanches will be likely in steep terrain at all elevations. This is due to the rain saturating the snow pack, which in turn, will stress the snow pack and cause weak layers to fail. These slides do have the potential to step down deeper in the snow pack, making for a large unmanageable slide. Human triggered avalanches are going to be very likely in terrain steeper than 30 degrees. Local weather stations are all reporting temperatures above freezing this morning, and forecasts are calling 1-2.5 inches of rain.

Avalanche Problem 2: Cornice
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Cornices are getting big on many of our northern ridgelines...with the warm temperatures and rain that is forecasted, there is a chance that cornices could weaken and fail. The natural failure of these cornices could cause an avalanche below. Give cornices more distance as the temperatures warm and gravity pulls down on theese giants. They may be very senisitive over the next couple days, and we may see them fail naturally.

Avalanche Problem 3: Wind Slab
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Southwesrt winds have created some stout wind slabs over the last week, and are continuing to form new wind slabs in upper elevation terrain today. Wind slabs may be sensitive and or fail with rain up to 8,500 feet. The Granite weatherstation reported gusts up to 29MPH out of the southwest this morning.

advisory discussion

Snowmobiler/Snowbiker Travel Restrictions:  a quick reminder that the Granite Mountain Area Closure is now in effect, please respect Snowcats operating in this  and nearby areas.  In addition there are other areas on the Payette National Forest that are CLOSED to snowmobile traffic including Jughandle Mt east of Jug Meadows, Lick Creek/Lake Fork Drainage (on the right side of the road as you are traveling up canyon), and the area north of Brundage Mt Ski area to junction "V" and along the east side of Brundage and Sergeants' Mts. with the exception of the Lookout Rd( junction "S").  Please respect these closures and other users recreating in them.  Winter Travel Map(East side). You can download the map to the AVENZA app on your phone, and know your exact location while you are out riding.

The Friends of the Payette Avalanche Center (FPAC) needs YOU! We are in desperate need of more user support and financial assistance. The avalanche forecast is not a guaranteed service, and is in jeopardy of dwindling down to only a couple of days a week in the near future. Please help if you can by clicking the DONATE tab above. If you value this life saving information, make a donation or help the FPAC in raising funds for the future.

recent observations

Yesterday, we toured out near Twin Lakes, Duck Lake, and to Fisher Creek saddle. Overall we didnt see many signs of instability, or recent avalanche activity. However, visibilty was almost non-existent above 7,600 feet. We did observe signs of one crown (about 2 feet deep) of a natural avalanche (NE aspect 7200ft, just above Corral Lake, North of the association cabin) that happened late in the storm, and had almost been covered up by the latest few inches of snow. The snowpack had set up quite a bit from Monday. Boot penetration was almost chest deep on Monday, whereas today we were able to walk around mostly in boot deep powder. We found that the snow pack had gained strength in our pits and in our sled cuts since Monday as well. The wind has definitely had a hand in the qulity of the snow. In sheltered, lower elevations, the snow is much deeper. Where as, in wind exposed terrain, we were seeing 2-3 foot dense slabs with 2-4 inch shallow fresh slabs on top. These fresh wind slabs were a little more reactive to the weight of a person, and were popping moderately in compression tests.

If you see or trigger an avalanche please let us know as soon as possible. When it comes to staying safe in the mountains, we are all in this together. Email us at: forecast@payetteavalanche.org Just sending us a picture and description of the location (aspect, elevation, slope angle), helps us a ton!

 

CURRENT CONDITIONS Today's Weather Observations From the Granite Weather Station at 7700 ft.:
0600 temperature: 32 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 32 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: sw
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 8 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 28 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: NA inches
weather

Rain is dominating the West Central Mountains today we will see a high near 41 in McCall. South southeast wind 13 to 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. In the upper elevations near 7600 feet, we will see Rain before 11am, then rain and snow. High near 36. Windy, with a south wind 34 to 43 mph, with gusts as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

1-2.5 inches of rain is forecasted to fall by Friday all the way up to 8,500 feet before a cold front sets in on Friday night bringing drier and colder weather along with sunshine Saturday.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the NOAA-NWS
McCall Airport at 5021 feet.
  Thursday Thursday Night Friday
Weather: Rain. High near 41. South southeast wind 13 to 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Rain. Low around 34. South southeast wind 8 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Rain showers likely before 11am, then rain and snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 38. South wind around 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Temperatures: high 41 deg. F. low 34 deg. F. high 38 deg. F.
Wind direction: south-southeast south-southeast South
Wind speed: 13-18 8-11 8
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. less than one half in.
Granite Mountain at 7700 feet.
  Thursday Thursday Night Friday
Weather: Rain and snow, becoming all snow after 11am. High near 35. Windy, with a south southwest wind 41 to 45 mph, with gusts as high as 60 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of around an inch possible. Snow. Low around 23. Windy, with a southwest wind 28 to 33 mph decreasing to 21 to 26 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 44 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible. Snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 27. Breezy, with a southwest wind 17 to 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.
Temperatures: high 35 deg. F. low 23 deg. F. high 27 deg. F.
Wind direction: south-southwest southwest southwest
Wind speed: 41-45 mph, with gusts to 60 mph 21-26, with gusts to 44 MPH 17-21
Expected snowfall: 1 in. 1-2 in. 1-2 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.