West Slopes North - Canadian Border to Skagit River
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. Preparations include outreach events, office maintenance, standard training, administrative tasks, weather station installation and repair, and preliminary forecasting for program cooperators such as the National Park Service, Washington State DOT and Pacific Northwest Ski Area Association.
We will begin issuing regular mountain weather and avalanche forecasts when sufficient snow has accumulated at moderate and lower elevations to create potential avalanche danger. Usually, regular forecasts begin mid to late November, but in low snow years the start date can be later. As always, these forecasts do not apply to developed ski areas or highways.
Here are a few general notes regarding Fall avalanches:
During the Fall, the atmosphere experiences significant cooling at higher latitudes. As this cold northern air is mixed progressively southward by Fall storms, pronounced changes in the air temperatures occur over the Pacific Northwest. Wet and cool weather depositing substantial snowfall
In the Fall these avalanche problems are usually confined to permanent snow fields 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
Have a safe and enjoyable Fall and Winter!
USE AT YOUR OWN RISK
The safety information and forecasts on this website are provided in partnership with the US Forest Service, and are intended for personal and recreational purposes only. Safe backcountry travel requires preparation and planning, and this information may be used for planning purposes but does not provide all the information necessary for backcountry travel. Advanced avalanche education is strongly encouraged.
The user acknowledges that it is impossible to accurately predict natural events such as avalanches in every instance, and the accuracy or reliability of the data provided here is not guaranteed in any way. The forecasts describe general mountain weather and avalanche conditions. Local variations will always occur.