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Current Bulletin

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Friday, 27 March 2015

March 27, 2015 at 10:24AM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Sunday 29 March  6pm 

DANGER RATINGS (Make sure you understand the danger level meanings)
 
Outlook Friday Saturday Sunday 
Alpine CONSIDERABLE CONSIDERABLE CONSIDERABLE
Treeline MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE
Below Tree line LOW LOW LOW

Confidence: Poor in alpine due to lack of observations. Forecast models show large variance in freezing levels Saturday and Sunday.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wet Slab / Loose Wet- Continued rain to high elevations will load the higher elevation snowpack to the point of failures. Some slabs may have remained from before the rain at the highest elevations above 1700m. Look for natural activity that may have flushed out some places. Be wary of accumulations of rain soaked snow on terrain above 1700m that has not been flushed.

Storm Slab/Wind Slab- If forecast modelling showing the lowest freezing levels are accurate then new slabs could develop with the high winds and snowfall Saturday and Sunday at elevations over 1200m. Wind slabs would develop lee to southerly winds.

Travel/Terrain Advice: Even small wet avalanches can be harmful and cause injury. Be aware of terrain traps that could increase this danger. Climbers at the highest elevations should be carefully evaluating the snowpack conditions in thier location and using cautious route finding and decision making. The freezing level seems unsure from the forecast modelling and new snow could occur with the high winds forming new hazard. Avalanches from above may runout long distances.

Past Weather: The last three days have seen high precipitation 27-67mm rain to mountain tops.

 Avalanche Summary: No new avalanche activity reported but likely at higher elevations over 1700m.

Snowpack  Description:  Old depth of snow below 1600m is well consolidated and rain saturated. Any new snow that accumulated during the last week above 1600m has been rained on for the last three days. This will have increased loading at the higher elevations that had developed slabs. Some settlement/consolidation should be expected and some places will have released naturals in the wet cycle. Some slabs may still exist at highest elevations 1700m up.

Weather Forecast:

Friday-  Cloudy, strong  southeast winds, 15-54 mm precipitation forecasted. freezing level dropping from 2500m to 1900m by end of day. 

Saturday- Cloudy,  moderate to gale force southwest winds, 14-37mm precipitation forecasted, freezing level forecast models vary greatly from 1200m to 2000m.

Sunday- Cloudy, moderate southwest winds, 12-100mm precipitation forecasted, freezing level forecast models vary greatly from 1200m to 2000m.

 Forecaster: Lyle Fast

Wednesday , 25 March 2015

March 25, 2015 at 11:36AM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Thursday 26 March  6pm 

DANGER RATINGS (Make sure you understand the danger level meanings)
 
Outlook Wednesday Thursday Friday 
Alpine CONSIDERABLE HIGH CONSIDERABLE
Treeline MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE
Below Tree line LOW LOW LOW

Confidence: Fair in alpine due to limited observations. Be aware of radical variations of conditions with increased altitude in the Alpine. 

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wet Slab / Loose Wet- Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are forecasted to have high freezing levels, 2500m and 10-20mm rain each day to mountain tops. This will likely flush out the recent slabs that have developed above 1600m. Some of these slabs and snow accumulations will be deep perhaps as much as 100cm on the highest peaks and lee slopes. The warm temps and loading will heighten the already existing weakness in this snowpack above 1600m. These avalanches could affect most gullies and high bowls and runout long distances to lower elevations. All three days will be active perhaps peaking on Thursday.

 

Travel/Terrain Advice: Dangerous avalanche conditions exist in the Alpine zone increasing dramtically with elevation gain on the highest peaks. The rain will flush many gullies and bowls above 1700m with the last weeks snowfall. These may runout long distances below(hazard from above).  Avoid lee slopes to southeast/south winds above 1700m and be suspect of deep accumulations at higher elevations on all aspects. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended during a High danger level. 

Past Weather: Friday was a huge precipitation event with up to 80mm falling in some locations. Freezing levels varyied during the storm around 1600m going higher at times and lower. Saturday and Sunday cooled of at nights to resume a freeze cycle on the snowpack below 1600m which was getting soft. Monday and Tuesday saw a continued accumulation of new snow above 1600m.

 Avalanche Summary: No new avalanche activity reported but likely at higher elevations over 1700m.

Snowpack  Description:  Old depth of snow below 1600m is well consolidated and has had another freeze cycle to stiffen it up. Up to 80cm new snow from Friday in alpine is very touchy and wind effected. Deep storm and wind slabs have developed at elevations over 1600m. Varying snow, wind and rain events over Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday have added to the complexity of the snow pack in the Alpine. Lee slopes to south and southeast winds are particularly touchy and will get worse with increased loading and Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays forecasted rain to mountain tops.

Weather Forecast:

Wednesday-  Cloudy, strong to gale force southeast winds, 11-40 mm precipitation forecasted. freezing level 2700m. 

Thursday- Cloudy,  moderate to gale force south or southwest winds, 10-38mm precipitation forecasted, freezing level 2500m.

Friday- Cloudy, strong south or  southwest winds, 18-50mm precipitation forecasted, freezing level 2400m lowering to 1300m in afternoon after the precip.

 Forecaster: Lyle Fast

Monday, 23 March 2015

March 23, 2015 at 12:31PM

This Bulletin Valid Until: Tuesday, 24 March  6pm 

DANGER RATINGS (Make sure you understand the danger level meanings)
 
Outlook Monday Tuesday Wednesday 
Alpine CONSIDERABLE CONSIDERABLE CONSIDERABLE
Treeline MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE
Below Tree line LOW LOW LOW

Confidence: Poor in alpine due to lack of observations. Be aware of radical variations of conditions with increased altitude in the Alpine ! A rating of Considerable denotes Dangerous avalanche conditions with large avalanches in specific areas or very large in isolated areas.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) 

Wind Slab- Gale force south east and south winds combined with high snowfall Thursday and Friday above 1700m  may have formed very touchy wind slabs on lee aspects. These slabs could produce large avalanches in many areas(lee slopes to southeast/south winds)  above 1700m. Increased loading Monday, Tuesday and rain to mountain tops Wednesday will continue to create hazard in the Alpine zone.

Storm Slab-  Freezing level of 1700m combined with high snowfall in excess of 30 cm and maybe as much as 80cm! from Friday will have formed touchy storm slabs in many alpine areas. These have had a few days to settle but increased loading Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays rain to mountain tops will continue to contribute to Dangerous avalanche conditions.

 

Travel/Terrain Advice: Dangerous avalanche conditions exist in the Alpine zone probably increasing dramtically with elevation gain on the highest peaks. Careful evaluation of new snowpack conditions and cautious route finding is required over 1700m. Avalanches at higher elevations may runout long distances on old crust surfaces(hazard from above).  Avoid lee slopes to southeast/south winds above 1700m and be suspect of deep accumulations at higher elevations on all aspects. 

Past Weather: Friday was a huge precipitation event with up to 80mm falling in some locations. Freezing levels varyied during the storm around 1600m going higher at times and lower. Saturday and Sunday cooled of at nights to resume a freeze cycle on the snowpack below 1600m which was getting soft. 

 Avalanche Summary: No new avalanche activity reported but likely at higher elevations over 1700m.

Snowpack  Description:  Old depth of snow below 1600m is well consolidated and has had another freeze cycle to stiffen it up. Up to 80cm new snow from Friday in alpine may be very touchy and wind effected, this has had a few days to settle now but little has been observed about conditions in the Alpine. Deep storm and wind slabs will have developed at elevations over 1600m. Varying snow, wind and rain events over Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will add to the complexity of the snow pack in the Alpine. Lee slopes to south and southeast winds may be particularly touchy with increased loading and Wednesdays forcasted rain to mountain tops.

Weather Forecast:

Monday-  Cloudy, light to moderate southeast winds, 2-30 mm precipitation forecasted. freezing level 1000-1400m. 

Tuesday- Cloudy, light to moderate south or southeast winds, trace- 10mm precipitation forecasted, freezing level 1100m.

Wednesday- Cloudy, strong to gale force  southeast winds,  10-38mm precipitation forecasted, freezing level 1000m rising to mountain tops in afternoon.

 Forecaster: Lyle Fast

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Important Notice

This bulletin covers the mountainous region of Vancouver Island from the Mt. Cain Ski Area in the North to the Beaufort range to the South including the mountains of Strathcona Provincial Park.

This is a regional forecast and significant variation may exist within the forecast area. The information and danger ratings are intended as a trip planning aid for recreational, backcountry users of avalanche terrain; they are not meant to be used as the sole factor in determining the avalanche danger presented by a specific slope.

Always include local weather, snowpack and avalanche observations in your decision to travel in avalanche terrain. Observations and experience may lead to different conclusions from what is reported or recommended. See disclaimer for further details. The technical data used to produce these bulletins is obtained from a variety of sources, including local ski areas and remote weather resources.