Winter is just around the corner! NWAC avalanche and mountain weather forecasts usually begin in mid to late November. While we wait for the snowpack to build, NWAC is gearing up for the season with Fall outreach events, annual training, hiring seasonal staff, administrative tasks, weather station installation and repair, and preliminary weather forecasting for program partners such as the National Park Service, WSDOT and the Pacific Northwest Ski Area Association.
So stay tuned for upcoming announcements regarding late Fall and Winter NWAC forecast operations - it will be winter before you know it!
FALL AVALANCHE STATEMENT
As the winter season rapidly approaches, the Northwest Avalanche Center is preparing once again to provide daily mountain weather and avalanche forecasts for the Olympics and Cascades.
The shift to wetter and cooler weather during the Fall will eventually bring snow to at least the higher elevations while we wait for winter's arrival. Backcountry travelers need to start thinking about avalanche hazards and safe travel practices before entering areas that have received significant early season snowfall.
In the Fall, the avalanche hazard is usually confined to permanent snowfields on the volcanic peaks and the alpine regions of higher non-volcanic peaks of the Cascades and Olympics. Generally, the shallow Fall snowpack at lower and mid-elevations still has vegetation and other anchors helping to limit avalanche potential. Use standard avalanche risk management if traveling to higher elevations with enough snow to avalanche and stay tuned for updates from NWAC as we get deeper into Fall.
For more information on avalanche problems, please see http://avalanche.state.co.us/forecasts/help/avalanche-problems/.
Have a safe and enjoyable Fall and Winter!