Older windslabs can still be found in upper elevations on leeward terrain. With not much snow left for transporting and warm temperatures, these slabs should be stabilizing and becoming less of a problem. Winds will pick up today, and into the evening tonight, transporting whatever new snow accumulates into leeward slopes creating a new crop of dense and potentially sensitive shallow windslabs. Keep an eye out for signs of freshly drifted or sculpted snow for the fresh wind slabs, and stiff snow with a chalky surface for the older wind slabs.
This winter has not had any shortage of snow, and most of the storms have been accompanaied by stout winds out of the South-Southwest. All of this wind and snow does a great job of forming large cornices on our ridgelines. The cornices on our ridges right now are large and overhanging and have been failing under their own weight with the warm temperatures over the last 10 days. They are also becoming extremely sensitive to added weight, and will break back farther than you think as pictured on this ridgeline near Storm Peak.
Watch for an increase in Loose/Wet slide activity today as temperatures get close to 40 and stay there through the night tonight. The amount of loose snow is pretty limited but as things warm up the snow will start to move, especially on the Southern aspects as intermittent sun heats things up even more. Roller balls, point releases and collapsing or unsupportable crusts are a good sign that the snow is warming quickly and it's time to move to a cooler aspect.
Yesterday was another day of mixed precipitation with snow turning to rain in the valley. Upper elevations got a light dusting of snow and grauple overnight with a series of passing Thunderstorms moving through early this morning. The snow should soften earlier today and will likely not refreeze tonight with a low near 40 at 7700 feet forecasted.
Expect some fog in the valley this morning with scattered snow showers through the day in the mountains. Above normal temperatures will be the theme today and through the weekend. Gusty prefrontal winds out of the SW will accompany a series of low pressure systems that will push through Thursday evening and through the weekend. Accumulations will be light with a good chance for moderate accumulations(up to .5 inches of Snow Water Equivalent) beginning Friday night and through Sunday morning. Snow levels are expected to range from 5500-6500 feet with each wave of moisture.
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.