Spring storm renews potential for avalanches
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
SUMMIT COUNTY ” A potent spring storm that lingered in the area through Friday dropped up to 12 inches of snow across the High Country, bringing the renewed potential for avalanches in the backcountry.
Arapahoe Basin reported six inches of new snow as of Friday morning, while Loveland reported eight inches. Some high-elevation backcountry areas probably picked up higher amounts. Winds across the ridge tops will deposit thick new slabs on lee slopes.
Although the Colorado Avalanche Information Center has stopped issuing avalanche hazard ratings, the forecasters are still generating a weather and avalanche discussion three times per week, Friday, Sunday and Wednesday through the end of May.
The Center is also still asking backcountry travelers to send in observations to help create an overall picture of snowpack conditions in the mountains.
The new snow from the current storm may not bond well with the frozen spring snow surface underneath. When temperatures warm, there will be another round of wet snow slides.
In its most recent bulletin, the avalanche center warned that the new snow could slide easily on the old surface. Recent avalanche activity has been reported from the Rollins Pass area, in the Front Range mountains, and on Buffalo Mountain, above Silverthorne.
Forecasters suggest monitoring changing conditions carefully and planning routes carefully to avoid terrain traps.
The weekend forecast calls for slightly warmer weather with a drying trend before more snow showers return early next week.
Check to avalanche center web site at http://avalanche.state.co.us for the latest updates or to submit an observation.
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