THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 15, 2017 @ 6:28 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 14, 2017 @ 6:28 am
Issued by Kent May - Payette Avalanche Center
bottom line

The avalanche danger is MODERATE at all elevations and all aspects due to human triggered avalanches being possible. A lack of freezing temperatures overnight combined with rain on snow today will make loose wet avalanches are primary concern. Today as the snow pack continues to transition from 'damp' to 'wet', the danger could rise to CONSIDERABLE due to the decreasing strength of the snow pack and the increase in the possibility of natural wet slab avalanches.

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
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It is going to be warm and wet at all elevations and all aspects of the PAC advisory area today. Granite Mountain weather station and Brundage Reservoir SNOTEL each had a low temperature of 35 degrees last night, while at Secesh Summit SNOTEL the low temperature overnight only got down to 39 degrees. As the day progresses, and more rain falls on snow, expect to be able to 'push' loose wet snow down any steep slopes. While these trains of goo move slower that a dry slab avalanche, if triggered on a steep slope they could take you somewhere you don't want to go. So use caution today riding near road cuts, creeks, gullies, and any other terrain features that look like it could ruin your day if you were to get pushed into it by a tree snapping wet snow avalanche.

So what does this all this warming mean for the snow pack..? Well, if we were to have more than a couple of nights without below freezing temperatures, the snow pack would become isothermal and the chances of large wet snow avalanches would increase dramatically. This is due to the decrease in strength of the snow pack from water peculating down through the entire pack and the bonds between the layers and grains of snow weakening. Simply put, the snow pack becomes one big, sloppy, melting snow cone. 

What makes it better....? Cold temperatures for a long enough time that the snow pack is able to refreeze, and in turn regain it's strength. Let's hope the current forecast for a slight cool down tonight comes to fruition. 

Avalanche Problem 2: Cornice
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Give ridge lines with cornices a bunch of respect and stay far back from what you might think is the edge of terra firma and the start of the cornice. These monsters are hanging out fighting gravity as I am writing this. Use vegetation lines or rock as clues to be sure you are not standing out on a 'trap door' that is a cornice. 

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, signed and unsigned closures and other users 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").

Photo 1 is from the edge of the signed Brundage Mt. Ski Area just past the Ski Area parking lot, photo 2 is of sled tracks ignoring Catski terrain signs...there is alot of snow out there folks.  Don't be "that" guy on a sled that gives sledders a bad reputation... please respect closures and other users.

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

No new human or natural triggered avalanches have been reported. 

A list of OBSERVATIONS can be found here.

CURRENT CONDITIONS Today's Weather Observations From the Granite Weather Station at 7700 ft.:
0600 temperature: 35 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 37 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: SW
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 6 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 19 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: NA inches
weather

Today a 30 percent chance of rain, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 42. West southwest wind around 17 mph.

Tonight a 40 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 31. Southwest wind 14 to 18 mph.

LONG TERM...Wednesday night through Monday...An upper trough will
bring widespread rain and high-elevation snow to the mountains of
Central Idaho Wednesday night. Precipitation chances and amounts will
be lower for SE Oregon and the remainder of SW Idaho. A cold front
will swing through on Thursday. The front will be followed by lower
snow levels, although precipitation amounts will be light.
Temperatures will be cooler, especially in SW Idaho. An upper ridge
on Friday will bring dry weather and warmer temperatures. The next
Pacific trough and front will move through next weekend.
Temperatures are expected to be warm on Saturday ahead of the front,
with highs around 70F in some valley locations (including Boise).
Temperatures will be 5-10 degrees cooler on Sunday. A moist
Southwest flow aloft will bring a chance of showers on Monday, along
with slightly above normal temperatures.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the NOAA-NWS
McCall Airport at 5021 feet.
  Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather: A 30 percent chance of rain, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 53. South wind 5 to 7 mph. A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 37. South wind 3 to 6 mph. Showers. High near 48. South wind 8 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Temperatures: high 53 deg. F. low 37 deg. F. high 48 deg. F.
Wind direction: south south south
Wind speed: 5-7 3-6 8-15
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
Granite Mountain at 7700 feet.
  Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather: A 30 percent chance of rain, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 42. West southwest wind around 17 mph. A 40 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 31. Southwest wind 14 to 18 mph. Rain and snow showers likely before noon, then snow showers. High near 35. Windy, with a southwest wind 20 to 25 mph increasing to 27 to 32 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 41 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Temperatures: high 42 deg. F. low 31 deg. F. high 35 deg. F.
Wind direction: west-southwest southwest southwest
Wind speed: 17 14-18 20-25 increasing to 27-32 gusting 41
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 1-3 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.