THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 23, 2019 @ 6:05 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 22, 2019 @ 6:05 am
Issued by Jeff Thompson - Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center

Selkirks/Cabinets

bottom line

Get ready for one more day of unseasonably warm temperatures, before a cooler weather system shows up.  I expect to see unstable snow conditions today in the backcountry, as the snowpack warms up. Be especially aware of slopes that have long exposere to the sun.  Practice safe travel techniques, stay away from terrain traps and look for signs of a weakening snow. 

How to read the advisory

Selkirks/Cabinets

How to read the advisory

Get ready for one more day of unseasonably warm temperatures, before a cooler weather system shows up.  I expect to see unstable snow conditions today in the backcountry, as the snowpack warms up. Be especially aware of slopes that have long exposere to the sun.  Practice safe travel techniques, stay away from terrain traps and look for signs of a weakening snow. 

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.

2. Moderate

?

Below Treeline
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
    Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.
Avalanche Problem 1: Loose Wet
  • Type ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

I'm including all aspects and elevation bands on this avalanche problem. The forecast area has been above freezing for 60+ hours which means that loose wet avalanches are possible just about anywhere. We've had many reports of loose, wet avalanches across the forecast zone this week. Small avalanches, triggered in isolated terrain features can gain momentum quickly and connect into bigger terrain causing large avalanches. Keep your head on a swivel, know what terrain is above you. Just because you're on a groomed road doesn't mean you're not in avalanche terrain. Know what's above you at all times and be ready to adjust your plan. 

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

As the warm spell continues, the likelihood of larger slab avalanches increases. Be aware of open faces that are exposed to sunshine. Be especially careful on slopes near rock outcroppings. The rocks can heat up and speed up the melting process, increasing the chances of slab avalanches. If you notice the snow getting 'punchy' ( your foot is penetrating deep in the snow while walking around) it's time to turn around. 'Punchy' snow is a big red flag. It means that the snow can no longer support you, let alone itself!

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

One more day of sunshine before the next system moves in.

Weather observations from the Region
0600 temperature: 31 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 58 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: S
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 3-5 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 9 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 80 inches
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Spokane NWS
For 2000 ft. to 4000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Sun Cloudy Chance of showers
Temperatures: 54 deg. F. 49 deg. F. 36 deg. F.
Wind Direction: S SW SW
Wind Speed: 3-5 3-5 3-5
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
For 4000 ft. to 6000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Sun Chance of showers Chance of snow
Temperatures: 46 deg. F. 33 deg. F. 39 deg. F.
Wind Direction: SW SW SW
Wind Speed: 5-7 9-11 11-14
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 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.