THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON February 13, 2019 @ 6:30 am
Avalanche Advisory published on February 12, 2019 @ 6:30 am
Issued by Melissa Hendrickson - Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center

St. Regis Basin/Silver Valley

bottom line

CONSIDERABLE avalanche danger on all elevations and aspects with danger rising through the day. We have made it through the other side of the cold tunnel! Unfortunately that means the warmer storms coming in are depositing heavier, denser snow over the light stuff we experienced this weekend. And a lot of new loading it is, with forecasts up to 2ft of additional snow on top of last night's 8inches by Wednesday. Stay conservative until this system has time to stabilize. 

How to read the advisory

St. Regis Basin/Silver Valley

How to read the advisory

CONSIDERABLE avalanche danger on all elevations and aspects with danger rising through the day. We have made it through the other side of the cold tunnel! Unfortunately that means the warmer storms coming in are depositing heavier, denser snow over the light stuff we experienced this weekend. And a lot of new loading it is, with forecasts up to 2ft of additional snow on top of last night's 8inches by Wednesday. Stay conservative until this system has time to stabilize. 

3. Considerable

?

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

3. Considerable

?

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

3. Considerable

?

Below Treeline
Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.
    Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.
Avalanche Problem 1: Storm Slab
  • Type ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

Heavy snowfall last night and predicted to continue through today and tomorrow.  This snow is warmer, and therefore denser than the snow we already had on the ground.  Upside-down snowpack alert! Expect avalanche danger to rise through the day as the storm system keeps hitting us.  Stick to terrain under 30 degrees until this system finishes up and has time to settle.  

Avalanche Problem 2: Wind Slab
  • Type ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

We had winds from every direction over the weekend forming wind slabs on the ridges, in the open trees, cross loading slopes.  Anywhere it could blow, it did blow.  Today's storms are supposed to have gusts in the upper 40's so they will continue to form on top of ones that are already sensitive.  Look for chalky, hollow sounding snow.  And expect to find them in places you normally wouldn't look for them.

Avalanche Problem 3: Persistent Slab
  • Type ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

Our broken record section.  The buried surface hoar from January is still down there in the pack, getting buried deeper with the new storms.  We are finding it in isolated areas below 5900' such as draws and big timber on the northern aspects.  The added new rapid loading has potential to wake this layer up with the new weight added on top of it.  

recent observations

If you've been checking the local spot weather forecast for your favorite backcountry riding place you have seen what the NOAA predictions for snow totals are.  Lots of new snow and high winds!  With the storm only to intensify through the day today and tonight, we are anticipating that the avalanche danger may rise to HIGH.  We will post an updated advisory if this occurs.  The next couple days will be a great time to farm some powder at your local resort or practice getting your sled unstuck from really deep, mellow meadow powder!  

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Winter Storm Warning

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Spokane WA
253 PM PST Mon Feb 11 2019

...NEXT WINTER STORM STORM IMMINENT...

.Moderate to heavy snow accumulations are commencing in the
Cascades and central Washington this afternoon. Accumulating snow
will spread across the remainder of the Inland Northwest this
evening. Snow will be heavy tonight and Tuesday morning. The
central Idaho Panhandle will experience a prolonged snow event
that will linger into Wednesday.

IDZ001-004-120700-
/O.CON.KOTX.WS.W.0005.190212T0600Z-190213T0000Z/
Northern Panhandle-Central Panhandle Mountains-
Including the following locations Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry,
Priest River, Eastport, Schweitzer Mountain Road, Kellogg,
Pinehurst, Osburn, Wallace, Mullan, Fourth of July Pass,
Dobson Pass, and Lookout Pass
253 PM PST Mon Feb 11 2019

...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING
TO 4 PM PST TUESDAY...

* WHAT...Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 8 to 14
  inches expected.

* WHERE...Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry, Priest River, Eastport,
  Wallace, Mullan, Lookout Pass and Schweitzer Mountain Road.

* WHEN...From 10 PM this evening to 4 PM PST Tuesday.
  Potentially more light to moderate accumulations Tuesday night
  into Wednesday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Travel could be very difficult to
  impossible. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning
  or evening commute.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather
conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible. If you
must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your
vehicle in case of an emergency.

The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can
be obtained by calling 5 1 1.
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Spokane NWS
For 2000 ft. to 4000 ft.
Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather: Snow Snow Snow
Temperatures: 31 deg. F. 29 deg. F. 31 deg. F.
Wind Direction: S SW Variable
Wind Speed: 10-13 5-9, G18 Light
Expected snowfall: 3-7 in. 3-5 in. 1-3 in.
For 4000 ft. to 6000 ft.
Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather: Heavy Snow and Blowing Snow Heavy Snow and Windy Heavy Snow
Temperatures: 23 deg. F. 23 deg. F. 26 deg. F.
Wind Direction: S SW SW
Wind Speed: 33, G44 23-28, G37 11
Expected snowfall: 9-13 in. 6-10 in. 3-5 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.