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.
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?
***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.
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.
|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|
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.
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.