Avalanche report for Wednesday, 1/26
This is Knox in the Colorado Avalanche Information Center with current information on mountain weather, snow, and avalanche conditions at 6:15 am, Wednesday, January 26, 2005.
This morning our next weather system is coming from the SW and is looking strong. There is rain across AZ, and that means snow should begin in the West San Juans around noon today. By tonight snowfall will spread throughout the S&C mtns, while the N mtns will see snow showers. On Thursday, moderate snow will fall in the S mtns, light snow in the C mtns, and snow showers in the N mtns. Winds will stay fairly light. By Friday, the wave will be overhead, so that means light snow for all mtns, fairly light winds, and colder temperatures. The forecast details:Northern MountainsWednesday: Partly cloudy, scattered snow showers by evening, T-1″. Winds SW/5-10. Highs 26-36. Lows 18-28.Thursday: Cloudy, snow showers, 1-3″. Winds SW/5-15. Highs 24-34. Lows 13-23.Friday: Cloudy, light snow, 2-4″. Highs 15-25.Central MountainsWednesday: Mostly cloudy, snow showers by aftn, 2-5″ overnight. Winds SW/5-10. Highs 26-36. Lows 17-27.Thursday: Cloudy, light snow, 3-5″. Winds SW/5-10. Highs 24-34. Lows 13-23.Friday: Cloudy, light snow, 2-4″. Highs 15-25.Southern MountainsWednesday: Cloudy, snow beginning early afternoon, 4-7″ overnight. Winds SW/5-10. Highs 26-36. Lows 17-27.Thursday: Cloudy, snow, 5-8″. Winds SW/5-10. Highs 24-34. Lows 13-23.Friday: Cloudy, light snow, 2-4″. Highs 15-25.SnowpackThere have been no avalanches reported since early Monday. Five days of sun and warm temperatures caused significant settlement in the snowpack and crusting on sunny aspects. This in turn made the snowpack stronger and brought an end to slab releases. Therefore, we were able to lower the BC avalanche danger in most mountain areas because the threat from deep-slab instability had diminished. But the faceted weak layer is still present deep in the snowpack, and this may come back to haunt us. But for now, lets turn our attention to the storm system that is moving in from the SW. By Friday there could easily be more than a foot of new snow in the S mtns and parts of the C mtns, not so much in the N mtns. This new snow will likely bury a layer of surface hoar that is present right now, so this could produce numerous shallow releases in the storm snow layer. Keep this in mind for your BC tours Friday through the weekend. The BC avalanche danger ratings currently are .Steamboat zone . MODERATE all elevations and aspects.Front Range, Summit/Vail, Aspen, Sawatch, and the W San Juan zones . MODERATE above TL on all aspects … near TL, MODERATE on NW through E aspects, and LOW on SE through W aspects . below TL, LOW.Crested Butte and Grand Mesa zones . LOW with pockets of MODERATE.Wolf Creek area . LOW all elevations and aspects.The danger for the S&C mtns could increase Thursday through the weekend because of the threat of triggered soft slab releases. Right now we do not see a lot of wind with this system, so widespread slab formation may not occur. Stay tuned.
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