As the weekend approaches, make sure to add looking at the snow report to your gear checklist!
Avalanche risk and conditions of the snow pack are as important to your safety as your snowsuit.
Your Weekend Snow Report is brought to you by Rocky Mountain Powersports.
Western Wyoming Avalanche Advisory
Although there were some lulls in the snowfall during the past 24 hours most mountain locations picked another 3 to 6 inches of new snow today. Temperatures were in the teens and mid 20’s this morning and fell during the day as colder air moves into the region. Winds have veered from the south-southwest and southwest to the southwest and west. Average wind speeds on the summits ranged from 20 to 30 with gusts to 50 miles per hour.
Strong winds were drifting today’s new snow along the higher ridge crests. Yesterday in the Teton area there were two near misses that involved large, dangerous slab avalanches. A smaller soft slab was triggered by a snowmobiler on a steep east facing slope in the North Fork of Spread Creek drainage in the Togwotee Pass area. No new avalanche events have been reported yet today.
Forecast for Thursday, January 9, 2020
A broad trough will be over the state on Thursday. Orographic lift will favor higher snowfall amounts at the higher elevations. Snowfall totals in favored areas could exceed a foot by tomorrow evening. Temperatures will be in the single digits and teens at the upper elevations and in the teens and 20’s at the lower elevations. Westerly winds will gust to 30 to 40 miles per hour on the peaks.
At the mid and upper elevations strong winds and new snow will be loading available snow onto leeward aspects and will be increasing the hazard as the day progresses. In steep terrain humans can trigger wind slabs one to three feet in depth on density differences within the new snow and on old snow surfaces that formed in late December. Very large persistent deep slabs up to five feet in depth can also be triggered or release naturally on a basal layer of faceted snow. Up there the general avalanche hazard will be considerable. Pockets of wind slab up to two feet in depth can also be triggered on steep, wind loaded terrain features at the lower elevations where the general avalanche hazard is expected to be moderate.
Trend Through the Weekend
The weather pattern will be active for the rest of this week and into next week. After a short break on Friday, snow will return to the area late Friday night and into Saturday morning. Snow will be mostly continuous into early next week. The avalanche hazard will remain elevated as the snowpack struggles to adjust to the continually increasing load.
For area specifics, go to the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center website.
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Ride safe and prepared!
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