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Current Bulletin

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Friday, 30 January 2015

January 28, 2015 at 11:46AM
Don't miss the Party! Tickets are on sale now for the legendary Party for the Bulletin! Click here for details.
This Bulletin Valid Until:Sunday 1 February 6pm 
DANGER RATINGS (Make sure you understand the danger level meanings)
OutlookFridaySaturdaySunday 
Alpine LOW LOW MODERATE
Treeline LOW LOW LOW
Below Tree line LOW LOW LOW

Confidence: Good

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems) No problems, afternoon solar effect Friday and Saturday may loosen surface, but small amounts at most. New snow Sunday will heighten conditions in the alpine.

Travel/Terrain Advice: Be careful not to take long falls on hard surface crust. Watch solar warmed surface in afternoon in warmest locations. Sundays mix of rain and snow will change conditions in the alpine. 

Past Weather: No precipitation Wed or Thurs. Warm sunny daytimes and below freezing nighttimes set up a melt freeze cycle that has stiffened the snowpack.

Avalanche Summary :  None have been observed or reported.

Snowpack  Description: The snowpack is now more typical of late spring snowpacks! Very little snow exists below 1200m on sunny aspects. The mountain snowpack is very well settled and consolidated. The surface is supportive to boots and minor sun cupping has developed.  A melt freeze cycle continues and each cold night is driving the stiffening of rain saturated layers deeper and deeper into the snowpack. Previous concerns about a weak layer persisting have not been confirmed by any reported observations.

 Weather Forecast:

 Friday-Mix of Sun and cloud, mild to warm daytime temps above freezing in the mountains.Light to moderate Westerly winds. Trace of precipitation possible.

 Saturday-Mix of sun and cloud increasing cloud later in day. Daytime temps above freezing in the mountains. Chance of light  precipitation later in day as much as 6mm possible in the north. Winds light to Moderate SE.

 Sunday- Up to 10 mm precipitation, most on North and West Island. Freezing levels forecasted from 940m to 1700m. Winds SE moderate to strong.

             

 

Forecaster:Lyle Fast     lylefast@hotmail.com (tell me what you are seeing)

Tickets are on sale now for the legendary Party for the Bulletin! Click here for details.
This Bulletin Valid Until:Thursday 29 January 6pm 
DANGER RATINGS (Make sure you understand the danger level meanings)
OutlookWednesdayThursday 
Alpine MODERATE MODERATE  
Treeline LOW LOW  
Below Tree line LOW LOW

Confidence: Good for treeline and below. Poor for Alpine due to lack of observations .

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems)

Wind Slab-  Possibility of lingering slabs in isolated areas in the Alpine. Thesse would be on lee aspects from west to east on old surface hoar if it is still persisting. These could be triggered by humans and could be large enough to bury or injure people(size 2)

Travel/Terrain Advice:

 Continue to be suspicious of old wind slabs that have not released as wet in rain, these may have stiffened into harder slabs in cooler temps. Be aware of the possibility of injury during a unarrested  fall on steep crust surfaces.

Past Weather:

  Nil to 5mm of precip in the north fell as rain in very warm temps up to 10c in Alpine. Freezing levels at night fell as low as 500m creating a melt freeze cycle.

Avalanche Summary :

  None have been observed or reported.

Snowpack  Description:

 The rain has settled the pack at all elevations. Existence of old surface hoar on buried  crust is becoming less likely but a lack of observations makes confidence poor. Areas of wind and storm slab from older events at higher elevations that have not released during rain should be seen as suspect.

  Snow pack is shallow below tree line. Thick melt freeze crusts are supportive to ski penetration and semi to foot. In general snowpack is well settled and has tightened/locked up with the cooler temps.

Weather Forecast:

Wed- Mix of sun and cloud with little to no precipitation, freezing level from 500m to 1000m ,winds SE moderate

Thursday- Mix of sun and cloud with little to no precipitation, freezing level from 960m to 2200m , winds SE moderate.

Forecaster:Lyle Fast     lylefast@hotmail.com (tell me what you are seeing)

Monday 26 January, 2015

January 26, 2015 at 12:19PM
Tickets are on sale now for the legendary Party for the Bulletin! Click here for details.
This Bulletin Valid Until: Tuesday 27 January 6pm 
DANGER RATINGS (Make sure you understand the danger level meanings)
OutlookMondayTuesday 
Alpine MODERATE MODERATE  
Treeline MODERATE MODERATE  
Below Tree line LOW LOW

Confidence: Good for below tree line, fair for the alpine and tree line due to lack of observations .

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems)

Loose Wet - Continued light rain will cause loose wet avalanches to happen naturally or with human loads on all aspects and at all elevations.  Avalanches will tend to be small below tree line, they could become big enough to bury, injure or kill a person at tree line and in the alpine.

Wet Slab - Deep storm and wind slabs formed during our previous storms have become soaked by heavy rain right down to the old crust surface below them possibly making for wet slab avalanches that can be triggered naturally or by human loads in isolated areas at higher elevations. Where these slabs sit on surface hoar on that crust they could be particularly touchy. Avalanches produced could be large.

Travel/Terrain Advice:

It's still not going to be great weather to be out in the mountains! Be wary of isolated pockets of old wind and storm slab at higher elevations that has not released as wet during rain cycle. Be aware that even small, loose wet avalanches can do harm when combined with terrain traps such as trees, rocks and cliffs below.

Past Weather:

The Island Alps received between 27mm and 45mm of precipitation since friday. Freezing levels have risen to above the tops of the Island Alps so all the precipitation has come as rain. 

Avalanche Summary :

Small loose wet avalanches have been observed.

Snowpack  Description:

 The rain has settled the pack at all elevations. Existence of old surface hoar on buried  crust is becoming less likely but a lack of observations makes confidence low. Areas of wind and storm slab from older events at higher elevations that have not released during rain should be seen as suspect.

Weather Forecast:

Monday-1-5 mm rain to mountain tops

Tuesday-3-7mm precipitation with freezing levels lowering to 1000m in the north and 1300m in the south by late in the day.

 

Forecaster:Lyle Fast

Friday 23 January, 2015.

January 23, 2015 at 10:02AM
Tickets are on sale now for the legendary Party for the Bulletin! Click here for details.
This Bulletin Valid Until:  Sunday 25 January 6pm.
DANGER RATINGS (Make sure you understand the danger level meanings)
OutlookFridaySaturdaySunday
Alpine CONSIDERABLE HIGH CONSIDERABLE
Treeline CONSIDERABLE CONSIDERABLE MODERATE
Below Treeline MODERATE MODERATE LOW

Confidence: Good for below tree line, fair for the alpine and tree line due to lack of observations especially re possible surface hoar buried in the snowpack.

Main Concerns: (Avalanche problems)

Loose Wet - Increasingly torrential rain will cause loose wet avalanches to happen naturally or with human loads on all aspects and at all elevations. While avalanches will tend to be small below tree line, they could become big enough to bury, injure or kill a person at tree line and in the alpine.

Wet Slab - Deep storm and wind slabs formed during our previous storms will become soaked by heavy rain right down to the old crust surface below them possibly making for wet slab avalanches that can be triggered naturally or by human loads. Where these slabs sit on surface hoar on that crust they will be particularly touchy. Avalanches produced could be very large (size 3).

Travel/Terrain Advice:

It's not going to be great weather to be out in the mountains! If you are out there stay out of avalanche terrain on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday avoid areas that would have had wind slab from our previous storms and have not slid naturally. Be aware that even small, loose wet avalanches can do harm when combined with terrain traps such as trees, rocks and cliffs below.

Past Weather:

The Island Alps received between 20mm and 40mm of precipitation in the last 48 hours (greatest amounts on the west coast). Freezing levels have risen to above the tops of the Island Alps so all the precipitation has come as rain. Winds are rising at time of writing to moderate.

Avalanche Summary :

Small loose wet avalanches have been observed.

Snowpack  Description:

Previous storm snow has settled into about 25cm to 70cm depth depending on location (most on the west coast) and is now becoming rain soaked by 20mm to 40mm of rain which has fallen in the last 48 hours. Shears with in that storm snow are rapidly settling as are the wind slabs that were created by strong winds during those storms. The previous storm snow (falling from a week ago Thursday to over last weekend) sits on surface hoar in some places. The exact spatial distribution of this surface hoar is not well known but our best guess at present has it at tree line and in the alpine where it would have been protected from the south east to south west winds at the start of the storms and high enough that it was not rain soaked when that precipitation began. The remainder of the snowpack is made up of well settled snow and a variety of ice crusts with no layers of concern below the storm snow.

Weather Forecast:

Friday - 25mm to 55mm of rain with freezing levels well over the tops of the island mountains.

Saturday - 15mm to 40mm of rain with freezing levels well over the tops of the island mountains.

Sunday - Trace to 20mm of rain (most on the north island) with freezing levels remaining high.

 

Forecaster: Jan Neuspiel

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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.