THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 3, 2017 @ 7:11 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 2, 2017 @ 7:11 am
Issued by George Halcom - Payette Avalanche Center
bottom line

The avalanche danger is Considerable today at all elevations on solar aspects where natural avalanches are likely, and human triggered avalanches are possible. Above 6,000 feet, on leeward terrain that wont be effected by the Sun, Moderate danger exists where variable winds have formed wind slabs near ridge tops that may be sensitive to the weight of a skier or rider. Below 6,000 feet on aspects that are not effected by the Sun, the danger is LOW.

How to read the advisory


  • Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.
Avalanche Problem 1: Loose Wet
  • Character ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

Temperatures over the last 24 hours have been much warmer, which has helped consolidate much of the loose snow that everyone has been loving. The snow has yet to see much, if any Sun. Today, the weather forecast is calling for partly cloudy skies, and high near 27 around 7600 feet which will heat up the snow surface, and create loose wet avalanches. Rocky outcrops, especially E, SE, S, SW, and W aspects will be most susceptible to solar radiation throughout the day. 

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

Winds from around the compass over the last week coupled with copious amounts of new snow have created near perfect conditions for forming wind slabs and cornices in the upper elevations, especially above treeline, or in areas that were not protected from the winds. Notice the Cornices overhanging in the photo below near Fall Creek Saddle Yesterday. 

advisory discussion

Snowmobiler/Snowbiker Travel Restrictions: 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.  It is your responsiblity to know where closures exist on the forest.

The Granite Mountain Area Closure is in effect Jan15-March 31, 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, North of Boulder Mtn, East of Rapid Peak, North of the 20 mile drainage, 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").

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.We have equipment that is overdue for replacement but lack the funds to purchase new gear including weather station parts and our forecast sleds.  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 near Fall Creek Saddle East of McCall.  We were reminded just how different one day can make in the mountains. Temperatures have been trending warmer, which is aiding in settlement which was obvious in our pit, and while on our ski down. The snow seemed much thicker and heavier than the last few days. Near the ridgelines, the wind was keeping temperatures cold, and the thicker wind effected snow was noticable. Travel on skis and sleds is getting much shallower, and in some ways easier.

If you see or trigger any avalanches while you are out, please let us know at payetteavalanche.org or use the OBSERVATION tab at the top of the website. 

CURRENT CONDITIONS Today's Weather Observations From the Granite Weather Station at 7700 ft.:
0600 temperature: 17 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 19 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: SW
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 10 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 16 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: NA inches
Total snow depth: NA inches
weather

Today expect cloudy skies, with a high near 27. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 14 to 21 mph.  

Friday night, the snow returns to the mountains:

LONG TERM...Friday night through Wednesday...Rain and snow will be
widespread this weekend as a deep upper level trough moves inland
over the Intermountain Region. Snow levels will be between 4500 and
5000 feet Friday night through Saturday night under relatively mild
southwest flow aloft ahead of the cold front, then drop to around
4000 feet on Sunday as the trough moves over our area. Snow levels
will lower to the valley floors Sunday night, but by then most
precipitation will be confined to the mountains. Any accumulations
in the Treasure and Magic Valleys Sunday night and Monday are
expected to be under an inch. Following the trough Tuesday and
Wednesday westerly flow aloft through a low amplitude upper level
ridge will bring a warming trend, with temperatures near or slightly
above normal by Wednesday. There will be enough moisture in the flow
for a chance of showers each day, mainly over the northern
mountains.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the NOAA-NWS
McCall Airport at 5021 feet.
  Thursday Thursday Night Friday
Weather: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 38. South wind 7 to 10 mph. Cloudy, with a low around 23. South southwest wind 7 to 10 mph. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 38. South wind 9 to 13 mph.
Temperatures: high 38 deg. F. low 23 deg. F. high 38 deg. F.
Wind direction: south south-southwest south
Wind speed: 7-10 7-10 9-13
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
Granite Mountain at 7700 feet.
  Thursday Thursday Night Friday
Weather: Cloudy, with a high near 27. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 14 to 21 mph. Cloudy, with a low around 20. Breezy, with a southwest wind 22 to 24 mph. A 20 percent chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 27. Breezy, with a south southwest wind 21 to 29 mph, with gusts as high as 39 mph.
Temperatures: high 27 deg. F. low 20 deg. F. high 27 deg. F.
Wind direction: south-southwest southwest southwest
Wind speed: 14-21 22-24 21-29 Gusting to 39
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.