Avalanche forecast for Tuesday, 1/25 | SummitDaily.com
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Avalanche forecast for Tuesday, 1/25

Courtesy of the CAIC

This is Knox in the Colorado Avalanche Information Center with current information on mountain weather, snow, and avalanche conditions at 6:15 am, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2005

High pressure remains over Colorado, so today will again be dry, but with variable clouds and temperatures a little cooler than Monday. On Wednesday a trough along the West Coast will push increased moisture into Colorado on weak SW flow. That means snow showers should begin midday in the S mtns and spread to the C mtns by afternoon. On Wednesday night and on Thursday, light snow will fall in the S&C mtns with modest accumulations, while the N mtns will see snow showers and only light accumulations. The forecast details:

Tuesday: Clear to partly cloudy. Winds W-NW/5-15, G30 over the Front Range. Highs 25-35. Lows tonight 12-22.Wednesday: Partly cloudy, scattered snow showers by evening, T-1″. Winds SW/5-10. Highs 25-35. Lows 14-24.Thursday: Cloudy, snow showers, 2-3″.

Tuesday: Increasing afternoon clouds. Winds W/5-15. Highs 25-35. Lows tonight 12-22.Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, snow showers by afternoon, T-2″. Winds SW/5-10. Highs 25-35. Lows 14-24.Thursday: Cloudy, light snow, 2-4″.

Tuesday: Increasing afternoon clouds. Winds W/5-15. Highs 25-35. Lows tonight 12-22.Wednesday: Cloudy, snow showers by noon, 2-3″. Winds SW/5-10. Highs 25-35. Lows 14-24.Thursday: Cloudy, light snow, 4-6″.

The mountain snowpack has gained a lot of strength in the surface layers during the last 4 days of sun, mild to warm temperatures, and light winds. Sunny aspects have surface crusts from the freeze-thaw cycles. Wet-loose releases have been common at lower elevations. But our lingering concern is the deep-slab instability that still lurks in the N&C mtns and the W San Juans. The warm spell has not stabilized the middle snowpack where the slab layer lies, nor the bottom of the snowpack which is made of weak facets in the Front Range and Summit-Vail zones, all the C mtns, and the W San Juans. There were lingering deep-slab releases in the Steamboat zone as recently as Monday morning. Deep-slab releases since the weekend have mostly been on N-E aspects, but there was one on a S aspect in the Steamboat zone.For the Steamboat zone . the backcountry avalanche danger remains MODERATE all elevations and aspects.For the Front Range and Summit/Vail zones of the N mtns, all the C mtns, and the W San Juans and LaPlatas of the S mtns . near and above TL on all aspects, MODERATE. Below TL, MODERATE on NW through E aspects, and LOW on SE through W aspects. Human-triggered slab releases remain possible in all the N&C mtns and W San Juans. Be extra cautious in areas of hard slab because hard slab releases could be triggered in the areas where the slab gets thinner, which is often lower on the slope.In the Wolf Creek area . the danger is reached LOW overall. Human triggered slabs are unlikely.Looking ahead, surface hoar growth has been rampant the last 4 days, especially on northerly aspects, and this layer will be buried by the snowfall of Wednesday and Thursday and will be our next weak layer.


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