THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 24, 2018 @ 6:59 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 23, 2018 @ 6:59 am
Issued by Jeff Thompson - Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center

Selkirks/Cabinets

bottom line

Over the past 24 hours we've seen a big addition of weight to the snowpack in the form of rain.  Rain, not only adds a lot of weight to the snowpack but it also breaks down the structure of the snowpack.  Not a good thing for snow stability. The good news is...cold temperatures will soon start to freeze up the snowpack, making it stronger. Don't trust the snowpack yet, but it should trend in the right direction soon.

How to read the advisory

Selkirks/Cabinets

How to read the advisory

Over the past 24 hours we've seen a big addition of weight to the snowpack in the form of rain.  Rain, not only adds a lot of weight to the snowpack but it also breaks down the structure of the snowpack.  Not a good thing for snow stability. The good news is...cold temperatures will soon start to freeze up the snowpack, making it stronger. Don't trust the snowpack yet, but it should trend in the right direction soon.

2. Moderate

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Above Treeline
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.

2. Moderate

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Near Treeline
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.

1. Low

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Below Treeline
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
    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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As cold temperatures take over in the next couple days, the snowpack will get stronger.  Right now, there's still a big concern for wet slab avalanches. The Selkirk and Cabinet mountains zone saw a significant addition of weight added to the snowpack. The snowpack doesn't like big, fast changes to itself and usually doesn't react well. Give the snowpack a couple days to get used to the new load and freeze up a little. Triggering wet slab avalanches today are possible on slopes over 32 degrees. Conditions should calm down a bit throughout the next week.

Avalanche Problem 2: Persistent Slab
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It hasn't been Spring for that long.There're still cold mid-winter layers in the snowpack. Be aware of buried faceted layers. The persistent layers in the mid-pack aren't the biggest concern, but still need to be considered. Higher elevation north facing slopes are the best places to wake up one of these layers.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
Weather observations from the Region
0600 temperature: 20 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 33 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: N
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 19 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 56 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: >1'' inches
Total snow depth: 120 inches
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Spokane NWS
For 2000 ft. to 4000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Rain/snow Rain/snow Rain/snow
Temperatures: 40 deg. F. 34 deg. F. 39 deg. F.
Wind Direction: SW S SW
Wind Speed: 6-9 5-7 8-13
Expected snowfall: >1'' in. >.5'' in. >.5'' in.
For 4000 ft. to 6000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Snow showers Snow Snow
Temperatures: 30 deg. F. 27 deg. F. 30 deg. F.
Wind Direction: S SW SW
Wind Speed: 17-19 8-12 21-27 G46
Expected snowfall: >1'' in. 2-4'' in. 4-8'' in.
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.