Friday January 1, 2021

Sunday January 3, 2021
Saturday January 2, 2021
Friday January 1, 2021
Confidence: High - Weather models in agreement and good field data.

Main Concerns

Loose Wet, Storm Slab - view Avalanche Problems for detailed information.

Travel & Terrain Advice

Stay out of all avalanche terrain when the hazard rating is HIGH!

Avoid exposure to terrain traps when and if rain saturates the snowpack. Slow moving wet loose avalanches have a lot of force and can push you off a cliff or crush you up against rocks and trees.

Avoid zones of wind loaded snow during and after Saturday’s storm, and give the snowpack time to heal and bond before you go get rad. Remember you can play in the snow everyday… Its just a matter of picking the right place to play… Stick to low angle forested zones when the hazard ratings are high.

Avalanche Summary

Ok I guess I am a little concerned and also a bit disappointed. Over the past three days I have got a few reports of skiers triggering avalanches (luckily with out consequences), heard reports of numerous avalanches triggered by sleds and then to cap it off an out of bounds boarder triggered a slide near Mt Washington on Wednesday, spent the night out and now will have to deal with some very serious possibly life altering injuries. To be blunt… What is it about HIGH HAZARD that folks did not comprehend? High as stated by the Avalanche Canada website states “Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain is NOT recommended. Natural avalanches likely human triggered very likely. Large avalanches in many areas and very large avalanches in specific areas….” So it is easy, stay out of ALL avalanche terrain when the bulletin says HIGH.. It is just that simple. Trust me we forecasters don’t use HIGH lightly and really think before we select that box. And really it is not that often we see HIGH on the island bulletin. Take it from me, one who has been involved in avalanche incidences where folks have been seriously hurt and even died, you don’t want this to be a part of your life and don’t want your families to deal with the loss of YOU… It is not cool!

Avalanche Problems

Loose Wet

Rain saturating the upper snowpack during Friday morning’s warm up will certainly result in loose wet avalanches and possibly wet slab avalanches.

Location: all aspects and elevations especially treeline and below treeline

Likelihood of triggering: likely via natural activity and very likely by human traffic.

Possible size: size one to two

Storm Slab

Saturdays significant new snowfall amounts will most certainly result in storm slab avalanches. These slabs will be most sensitive Saturday, but will take some time to heal and bond well into Sunday.

Location: all aspects and elevations especially NW to NE slopes in the alpine and treeline.

Likelihood of triggering: likely via natural triggering and very likely with human activity.

Possible size: size one to three.

Snowpack Summary

A bit of new snow now sits on the significant dump of snow we got on Wednesday. Wednesday’s storm snow seams to now be bonding moderately to the old snow below.

Snowpack Details

SurfaceWind pressed surfaces in open regions (ridge tops and open slopes) with preserved pow in the trees
UpperLow density snow from Wednesday's storm
MidWell settled with some old crusts
LowerWell settled

Past Weather

An average of 30 cm of new snow fell in our island mountains (mainly on Wednesday) with the most (47 cm) near 5040 and least up north near Mt Cain (6 cm). Thursday saw small amount of new snow (2 to 10 cm). Winds were strong SE to SW during Wednesday’s storm and light Thursday. Temps during the storm were -1 to -3 and then things cooled Wednesday night down to -5, rising to near 0 Thursday.

Weather Forecast

Well it’s a bad news good news kind of weather forecast… The bad news is that after a moderate amount of snowfall Thursday night into early Friday morning, things will warm up significantly and there is a high likelihood of moderate to heavy rain in the hills. The good news is that it will be a short lived event, things will cool off again and we will see a blast of new snow Saturday. Things will then mellow out a bit Sunday.

Friday: 10 to 20 cm of snow fallowed by 15 to 50 mm of rain, winds strong SE to SW, temps 0 rising to +4 then cooling to 0/-1, freezing levels 1400 rising to 2600 falling to 1300 m.

Saturday: 20 to 80 cm of new snow, winds extreme to strong SW, temps 0 to -3, freezing level 1400 m.

Sunday: 0 to 15 cm of new snow, winds strong SE to SW dropping to moderate SE to SW, temps -2 to -6, freezing level 700 to 1000 m.

Posted on Friday January 1, 2021 by Bill Phipps

Past Bulletins