THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON January 26, 2018 @ 7:10 am
Avalanche Advisory published on January 25, 2018 @ 7:10 am
Issued by Kevin Davis - Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center

Kootenai
Selkirks/Cabinets
St. Regis Basin/Silver Valley

bottom line

Over the past 24 hours the mountains have received a generous amount of snow.  Westerly winds, stronger to the north, have been loading new snow.  Temperatures also rose to near or above freezing creating a heavier layer of snow overlying a less dense layer.  This is the primary weak layer of concern, heavy new snow over lighter snow, and was found to be very weak yesterday.  Windloaded new snow could be a concern today.  Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.

How to read the advisory

Kootenai
Selkirks/Cabinets
St. Regis Basin/Silver Valley

How to read the advisory

Over the past 24 hours the mountains have received a generous amount of snow.  Westerly winds, stronger to the north, have been loading new snow.  Temperatures also rose to near or above freezing creating a heavier layer of snow overlying a less dense layer.  This is the primary weak layer of concern, heavy new snow over lighter snow, and was found to be very weak yesterday.  Windloaded new snow could be a concern today.  Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.

4. High

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Above Treeline
Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.

3. Considerable

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Near Treeline
Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.

2. Moderate

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Below Treeline
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
    Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain not recommended.
Avalanche Problem 1: Storm Slab
  • Type ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

To the north anywhere from 6 inches to a couple feet of snow have fallen in the last 24 hours.  The southern selkirks seem to be the bigger picker upper with over 2 inches of water translating to potentially a couple feet.  The Cabinets likely picked up over one foot of new snow and the Purcells seem to have gotten about 6-8 inches.  All this new snow has the potential to slide since it fell with warmer temperatures and westerly winds.  Travel in avalanche terrain on all aspects above 4,500 feet is not recommended today.  Be alert for clues such as shooting cracks, natural avalanches, or hollow snow.  Less snow has fallen to the south in the St. Regis Basin and the St. Joe Divide but the same conditions prevailed to set up an inverted pack with heavier snow overlying weaker snow.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Expect several inches of new snow today with falling temperatures and persistent westerly winds blowing about 10-15mph.

Weather observations from the Region
0600 temperature: 25 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 30 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: W
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 15 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 30 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 12 average inches
Total snow depth: inches
Disclaimer

Avalanche conditions change for better or worse continually. Backcountry travelers should be prepared to assess current conditions for themselves, plan their routes of travel accordingly, and never travel alone. Backcountry travelers can reduce their exposure to avalanche hazards by utilizing timbered trails and ridge routes and by avoiding open and exposed terrain with slope angles of 30 degrees or more. Backcountry travelers should carry the necessary avalanche rescue equipment such as a shovel, avalanche probe or probe ski poles, a rescue beacon and a well-equipped first aid kit.  For a recorded version of the Avalanche Advisory call (208)765-7323.