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Avalanche Danger Rose: this graphic represents an avalanche forecaster's idea of how the avalanche danger exists across the topography in a given region. It is not a map...it is an idea. Picture it as a cone-shaped mountain viewed from above, built of three elevation bands; the outer ring represents low elevations, the middle ring represents middle elevations, and the innermost circle represents high elevations. Each elevation band is divided into sectors that represent the slope aspect (N-NE-E-SE-S-SW-W-NW). Each sector\'s color represents the avalanche danger rating assigned that day (see Avalanche Danger Scale).

In this example, the Avalanche Danger Rose depicts an avalanche danger rating of considerable on all high elevation aspects and on north to west-facing mid elevations; all other sectors possess moderate avalanche danger. The illustration depicts the spatial distribution of this forecast across a landscape.
X Wind Slabs: A relatively cohesive layer that forms when wind deposits snow on the lee side of ridges, gullies, and other terrain features. These slabs may be soft or extremely hard and can take up to a week to stabilize.
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Avalanche Problem Rose: this graphic represents an avalanche forecaster's idea of the distribution of a particular avalanche problem across the topography in a given region. Picture it as a cone-shaped mountain viewed from above, built of three elevation bands; the outer ring represents low elevations, the middle ring represents middle elevations, and the innermost circle represents high elevations. Each elevation band is divided into sectors that represent the slope aspect (N-NE-E-SE-S-SW-W-NW). Sectors colored grey are thought to have the identified avalanche problem while white sectors do not.

In this example, the Avalanche Problem Rose indicates that a particular avalanche concern exists on all high elevation aspects and on north to west-facing mid elevations and that this concern is far less likely to be encountered on other aspects and elevations.
X Chance of Avalanches: This graphic depicts how likely you are to trigger avalanches or encounter natural avalanches while traveling on avalanche prone slopes. Unlikely means that few avalanches could be triggered in avalanche terrain and natural avalanches are not expected. The chance of triggering or observing avalanches increases as we move up the scale. Certain means that humans will be able to trigger avalanches on many slopes, and natural avalanches should be expected.
X Size of Avalanches: This graphic depicts the potential size and destructive force of expected avalanches. Small avalanches are not large enough to bury humans and are relatively harmless unless they carry people over cliffs or through trees or rocks. Moving up the scale, avalanches become large enough to bury, injure, or kill people, large enough to bury or destroy vehicles and break a few trees, and large enough to destroy railway cars, buildings, or a substantial amount of forest. Historic avalanches are massive events capable of destroying villages and gouging or altering the landscape.
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LOW: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

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MODERATE: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.

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CONSIDERABLE: Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.

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HIGH: Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.

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EXTREME: Avoid all avalanche terrain.

Current Advisory
Monday March 27, 2017 7:30 am by Ethan Davis

All Zones | Sawtooth Mountains | Smoky & Boulder Mountains | Wood River Valley | Soldier Mountains

Smoky & Boulder Mountains

Bottom Line: The avalanche danger is MODERATE at upper elevations. By mid morning, 24-hr snow totals may reach 3-6”. As a cold front passes through this afternoon, wind speeds will kick up from the northwest forming sensitive wind slabs in exposed terrain. These slabs will shrink in size and extent at middle and low elevations where the danger is LOW. If the sun makes an appearance this afternoon, small loose wet avalanches may release naturally from very steep, sunny slopes.

Primary Avalanche Problem

Wind Slabs   

Aspect/Elevation   

Certain
Unlikely

Chance of Avalanches   

Historic
Small

Size of Avalanches   

Light snow will continue this morning and 24-hr totals are forecast to tally 3-6” by noon. A cold front will sweep through the advisory area around midday to provide a little extra lift, additional snow and an increase in wind speed as wind direction shifts to the northwest. By mid afternoon, I’d expect fresh, sensitive wind slabs in the alpine and exposed middle elevations. Slabs may be up to a foot thick - plenty large enough to take you for a ride or bury you in a terrain trap. Use small, safe slopes and rolls to check in on how the storm snow is bonding. A mix of old snow surfaces include wind-hammered snow, various crusts and weak sugary snow (facets and surface hoar). Dry, loose snow avalanches have been reported in the last two days. With a poor bond to the old snow surface and more snow last night/this morning, expect this problem to continue on very steep slopes with dry unconsolidated snow. Don’t assume the results you find on one aspect or elevation apply across the board. If you observe shooting cracks or recent natural avalanches, keep the slope angles low and seek out softer snow to ride.

Additional Discussion: Some weather models point to clearing fairly early in the day. If the sun comes out for any prolonged period of time, loose wet avalanches are possible. Wind and cool temperatures may keep upper elevations dry, but the few inches of fresh snow that fell at middle and low elevations may quickly turn wet and release naturally on very steep, sunny slopes. Cornices have grown impressively large this year. Many are dozens of feet tall and protrude far out from ridgelines. It’s nearly impossible to predict how far back onto ridges cornices can break - walking on rocks when traveling along ridgelines is really your only safe bet to eliminate this hazard from the equation.

Weather Forecast

Last Night
5PM - 5AM

Today
5AM - 5PM

Tonight
5PM - 5AM

Temperature

22 F 26 F 15 F

Cloud Cover

Mostly Cloudy Decreasing Partly Cloudy

Ridgetop Wind Speed

Light Light Moderate

Wind Direction

S SW NW

Snowfall

24hr: 1-3" 12hr: 1-3"
1-4" 0"

Avalanche Notes

Enter text...

Mountain Weather Summary

Yesterday began clear and sunny before clouds rolled in around noon. Daytime high temperatures reached into the low 30s F and wind blew light to moderate from the west and south. Overnight, temperatures dipped to near 20 F and wind blew light to moderate from the southwest. A few bouts of valley rain and mountain snow passed through late last night before a broad band of precipitation arrived early this morning blanketing the advisory area with 1-3” by 5 a.m. this morning.

A upper-level low pressure system will deepen as it passes overhead today sending a large batch of moisture to our south and a bit to our north. We are left in the middle, but should pick up a couple more inches this morning ending with a cold front passage midday. This morning, the rain line hangs at about 6,000’ in the Wood River Valley and an estimated 6,500’ in the Stanley Basin. Rain/snow showers will continue in the early morning hours and diminish from west to east. Any additional snow accumulations this morning should fall in the 1-4” range. Following the frontal passage, wind speeds will increase and shift to the northwest. This afternoon, clouds decrease as high-pressure nudges in for Tuesday.

Sawtooth Mountains

Last Night
5PM - 5AM

Today
5AM - 5PM

Tonight
5PM - 5AM

Temperature

20 F 28 F 15 F

Cloud Cover

Mostly Cloudy Decreasing Partly Cloudy

Ridgetop Wind Speed

Light Light Moderate

Wind Direction

S SW NW

Snowfall

24hr: 1-3" 12hr: 1-3"
1-4" 0"

Smoky & Boulder Mountains

Last Night
5PM - 5AM

Today
5AM - 5PM

Tonight
5PM - 5AM

Temperature

22 F 26 F 15 F

Cloud Cover

Mostly Cloudy Decreasing Partly Cloudy

Ridgetop Wind Speed

Light Light Moderate

Wind Direction

S SW NW

Snowfall

24hr: 1-3" 12hr: 1-3"
1-4" 0"
           

Wood River Valley

Last Night
5PM - 5AM

Today
5AM - 5PM

Tonight
5PM - 5AM

Temperature

22 F 30 F 19 F

Cloud Cover

Mostly Cloudy Decreasing Partly Cloudy

Ridgetop Wind Speed

Moderate Light Moderate

Wind Direction

S SW NW

Snowfall

24hr: 1-2" 12hr: 1-2"
1-2" 0"
   

Soldier Mountains

Last Night
5PM - 5AM

Today
5AM - 5PM

Tonight
5PM - 5AM

Temperature

24 F 24 F 18 F

Cloud Cover

Mostly Cloudy Decreasing Partly Cloudy

Ridgetop Wind Speed

Moderate Moderate Strong

Wind Direction

S W NW

Snowfall

24hr: 1-3" 12hr: 1-3"
1-2" 0"
           

General Information