THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON February 15, 2017 @ 6:44 am
Avalanche Advisory published on February 14, 2017 @ 6:44 am
Issued by Kent May - Payette Avalanche Center
bottom line

The avalanche danger is MODERATE today above 6000 feet. Loose wet avalanches are possible on very steep, sunny slopes in the heat of the afternoon. Also, wind slabs of varying thickness can still be found on steep slopes above 7000 feet. Below 6000 feet the danger is LOWbut still be aware of the loosening of the snow due to heat in the afternoon.

How to read the advisory


  • Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
Avalanche Problem 1: Loose Wet
  • Character ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
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Daytime warming is going to be the weather factor to keep in mind again today. Temperatures at Granite Mountain weather station have been above freezing since 9 am yesterday and barely spent any time below freezing the night before last. This morning we are starting out at 38 degrees as of 5 am at Granite and temperatures in the upper elevations should climb easily to over 40 degrees. Because of this, loose wet avalanches will be likely on all steep aspects that are receiving sun, especially slopes that have any exposed rock. As the afternoon progresses, keep off of and out from under steep slopes where snow is becoming soft due to solar radiation. 

Below is data from the Granite Mountain weather station. The blue line is temperature over the last 24 hours.

Avalanche Problem 2: Wind Slab
  • Character ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

Wind slabs around the advisory area have continued to stabilize over the last few days due to mild temperatures, light winds, and a lack of loose snow for transport. That being said, there is a lot of country out there and wind slabs still exist on steep, leeward, and/or cross-loaded slopes. Before committing to any large slopes today, evaluate smaller slopes with similar elevation, aspect, and slope angle to see if any wind slabs are still lingering. On steep slopes on the north half of the compass, where wind slabs are most likely to exist, even a small ride from an avalanche could beat you up pretty good. Think about where that slide would take you. Are you riding above gullies, trees, or cliffs? 

advisory discussion

 

***Warren Wagon Road is back OPEN! But be prepared for water on the road.

 

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

Dave and I were fortunate enough to take a flight over a good chunk of the advisory area yesterday with a local friend and pilot. There were quite a few impressive slab and loose snow avalanches from last weeks storm cycle around the mountains above McCall (pictures below). We also got to fly over and get a better look at the accident site from Saturday's cornice fall avalanche. Saturday's accident is a good reminder to always be thinking of what could happen/would happen. Example being. The side that people were snowmobiling on the terrain is mellow and travel looked to be easy due to supportable snow. However, there are quite a few tracks that were traversing out on to the cornice (pictures below) that is above a large cliff, and above a drainage that is not easy snowmobiling. And as it turned out, not an easy place to perform a rescue. Third picture down is a fly by of accident sit from Saturday's cornice fall avalanche. Look at where the tree line ends. As I mentioned yesterday, use vegetation and rocks as clues to where a cornice begins and ends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CURRENT CONDITIONS Today's Weather Observations From the Granite Weather Station at 7700 ft.:
0600 temperature: 38 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 43 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: northeast
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 4 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 16 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: NA inches
weather

Today sunny, with a high near 39. South wind 7 to 10 mph. 

LONG TERM...Wednesday night through Monday...Upper level ridge pushes east on Wednesday night, with a pattern change to unsettled conditions through the extended period. Significant mountain snow is expected through the long term. Moist southwest flow develops on Thursday morning with snow levels falling from 8,000ft to 5,500- 6,500ft MSL by Thursday afternoon. A brief lull in precipitation is expected on Friday afternoon before another storm system moves through Friday night into Saturday. Southwesterly flow will favor moderate precipitation in the West Central and Boise Mountains with snow levels around 5,000-6,000ft MSL. Unsettled conditions will continue through the extended period with multiple shortwaves moving through the area. Temperatures will be near or slightly below normal through the period.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the NOAA-NWS
McCall Airport at 5021 feet.
  Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather: Patchy fog before noon. Otherwise, sunny, with a high near 38. Light and variable wind. Patchy fog after midnight. Otherwise, clear, with a low around 13. East wind 3 to 5 mph. Sunny, with a high near 40. East wind 3 to 6 mph.
Temperatures: high 38 deg. F. low 13 deg. F. high 40 deg. F.
Wind direction: variable east east
Wind speed: light 3-5 3-6
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
Granite Mountain at 7700 feet.
  Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather: Sunny, with a high near 39. South wind 7 to 10 mph. Clear, with a low around 24. South wind 11 to 17 mph. Increasing clouds, with a high near 38. Breezy, with a south wind 17 to 20 mph.
Temperatures: high 39 deg. F. low 24 deg. F. high 38 deg. F.
Wind direction: south south south
Wind speed: 7-10 11-17 17-20
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 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.