Avalanche Advisory published on February 21, 2019 @ 10:20 pm
This Avalanche Advisory expires in 5 hours, 20 minutes
This advisory is valid for 24 hours
Issued by Eric Morgan - Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center

Selkirks/Cabinets

bottom line

New snow has had time to bond with minimal new snow this week.  Light accumulations expected the next few days.  Watch for wind loading on Saturday.  Variability is key to remember as persistent slabs still exist in pockets with high consequence.  

How to read the advisory

Selkirks/Cabinets

How to read the advisory

New snow has had time to bond with minimal new snow this week.  Light accumulations expected the next few days.  Watch for wind loading on Saturday.  Variability is key to remember as persistent slabs still exist in pockets with high consequence.  

2. Moderate

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

1. Low

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Near Treeline
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

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: Storm Slab
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Old storm slab may be still touchy on isolated areas on steep exposed terrain in upper elevations and ridgetops.  Otherwise the the pack seems to be consolidated and holding up well.  However if you are to trigger some of these slabs on the old ice and wind crusts a meter or so down it could have big consequeces.  

Avalanche Problem 2: Wind Slab
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Light winds today and increase by Saturday.  Some windslabs could be touchy on the big stuff.  Assess as you change aspects and venture onto exposed unsheltered areas on leeward aspects.  The upper pack on Westerly and Southerly aspects felt in good shape with wind effect and sun affect yesterday.  There may be a slight sun crust today based on yesterdays observations.  

Avalanche Problem 3: Persistent Slab
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Although we have not had any significant results on facets surrounding older deeper ice crust layers, it is wise to keep an eye on these layers as they can fail and are going through changes.  In addition we have seen some areas with a buried surface hoar layer deeper in the pack but we are not finding it widespread.  We have found a few areas over the past month in the Selkirks on some E aspects.  Just know that it is out there and test the slopes as you go.  

advisory discussion

.DISCUSSION...
Today and Saturday: Fog is expected to impact the Columbia BAsin
this morning with some areas reaching a quarter mile vis. As the
next system begins to push into the region, the fog is expected
to lessen across the region late Friday afternoon. The models are
tracking the next system with good agreement from the previous
runs and each other. It is expected to move pretty quick and bring
periods of moderate snow. Amounts have stayed around the same as
the previous forecast. Areas in the Columbia Basin and lower
elevations can expect up to 1 to 2 inches of new snow. The
heaviest amounts are expected in the Cascades with amounts near 6
to 10 inches. The Idaho Panhandle Mountains can expect amounts
int the range of 3 to 6 inches. By late Saturday afternoon, a few
lingering snow showers in the mountains will remain. Winds will
slightly increase ahead of the system with gusts near 20 from the
Northeast. Cloud cover will help keep the temps a little warmer
overnight than the previous nights. The highs will in the 20s and
lows in the teens for most. /JDC

recent observations

In the cabinets yesterday we found stable conditions on a all aspects as we climbed up to twin peaks.  The sun was starting to have some effect during the day warming the surface of the pack.  There will likely be areas with a crust today where the sun hit.  Ambient air temperatures were cool so the other non solar aspects should remain soft and cool.  We could see a few 2-4 inch storms that may create some small storm and windslabs depending on how much we actually get.  Currently I do not expect more than 4-6 inches total by Saturday if we are lucky.    

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

February has been a spectacular month for the snow goers!  With all of the months snow and cooler temperatures we will continue this pattern with a disturbance coming in today bring 1-2 inches today and a good chance of another 2-4 inches tonight.  Expect more breezy conditions with this cold snow out of the SW 17-21G29 continuing through the night out of the West.  With the cooler temperatures the valleys will receive some of this snow as well!

Weather observations from the Region
0600 temperature: 11 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 17 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: 200
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 5 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 5 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 105 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.

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