Gusty winds were easily transporting the new snow yesterday and increased last night. Expect to find newly formed wind slabs on mulitple upper elevation aspects today. New slabs may have formed in gullies or other small terrain features as well as open, exposed terrain. Use extra caution as you approach any steep wind affected terrain today as new slabs may be soft or hard depending on the amount and duration of wind that formed them. Wind slabs are tricky beasts as they sometimes let you get fully committed to a slope before you find them. Based on the amount of new snow these slabs could be a few inches or a few feet thick depending which aspect you are on. With gusty N winds forecasted for today and tonight expect to see additional wind slab formation throughout the next 24 hours.
With nearly 2 feet of fresh snow and fluctuating temperatures over the last few days, instabilities are likely to have formed within the new snow layers. Ski cuts on test slopes are a great way to test for these. With a stout ice crust below all of the new snow, you may find all or part of the new snow ready to fail on steeper wind protected slopes.
Below normal temperatures over the next few days with a chance of snow prior to another round of moisture starting on Wednesday. Blustery Northerly winds will keep the wind chill close to 0.
The new snow came in with a fair amount of wind which shifted across the left side of the compass yesterday. Expect to find wind transported snow and new wind slabs on all exposed leeward slopes. As the new snow piled up yesterday, the temperatures increased creating subtle storm slabs within the new snow layers. Absolutely phenomenal powder conditions for riders and skiers. We didn't get any avalanche reports from our advisory area yesterday but with the heavy accumulation and the wind it's still going to be head's up conditions in the mountains today.
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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.