THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON December 14, 2019 @ 6:43 am
Avalanche Advisory published on December 13, 2019 @ 6:43 am
Issued by Jeff Thompson - Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center

Selkirks/Cabinets

bottom line

A strong winter storm has been blanketing the forecast area with new snow and wind over the past 2 days. The snowpack is quickly becoming more complex and the avalanche danged is increasing at upper elevations. The new snow buried a surface hoar layer, which will increase the likelihood of avalanches in the backcountry.

How to read the advisory

Selkirks/Cabinets

How to read the advisory

A strong winter storm has been blanketing the forecast area with new snow and wind over the past 2 days. The snowpack is quickly becoming more complex and the avalanche danged is increasing at upper elevations. The new snow buried a surface hoar layer, which will increase the likelihood of avalanches in the backcountry.

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.

No Rating

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Below Treeline
    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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This storm has dropped about 12'' of new snow across the upper elevations of the forecast area. In many areas, the snow fell on a well preserved surface hoar layer. We conducted tests on the snow yesterday. Tests showed that this new snow is very delicately supported by the old snow surface. In the backcountry yesterday we experienced many signs of instability. Pay attention to whoophing sounds and signs of recent avalanche activity. The buried surface hoar layer maybe create problems for weeks to come...

 

Avalanche Problem 2: Normal Caution
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Please use caution while traveling in the backcountry. The snowpack is quickly becoming complex. Be ready to experience a lot of variability with elevation and aspect changes. Different snow depths and consistency will keep you on your toes, when it comes to decision making. Steep and protected areas near ridgelines should be avoided.  Also look at runnout paths. Avoid areas with terrain traps.

 

advisory discussion

Keep an eye out for the buried surface hoar layer that is under the new snow. Please submit an observation if you see any avalanche activity in the backcountry. Observations are a important forecasting tool for us! Thank you!

Also, if you support IPAC and what we do, please become an IPAC member to support the operation. Details can be found on the website. Thank you! Have a great day and enjoy the new snow!

recent observations

A strong winter storm is coming through the forecast area. Expect the storm to start pushing out today. After this storm moves out, expect lingering pulses of snow over the next 3 days.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
Weather observations from the Region
0600 temperature: 34 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 38 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: SW
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 17 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 29 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 7-13'' inches
Total snow depth: 27'' inches
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Spokane NWS
For 2000 ft. to 4000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Snow/rain 30% chance Snow/rain 30% chance Snow/rain 30% chance
Temperatures: 35 deg. F. 27 deg. F. 32 deg. F.
Wind Direction: SW N SW
Wind Speed: 6 calm 6-8
Expected snowfall: >1'' in. >1'' in. >1'' in.
For 4000 ft. to 6000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Snow Snow Snow
Temperatures: 24 deg. F. 19 deg. F. 21 deg. F.
Wind Direction: SW SW-NW SW
Wind Speed: 20-24 G-30 10-12 10-12
Expected snowfall: 1'' in. 1'' in. >1'' 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.