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Mt Hood

Issued: 7:58 PM PST Monday, February 5, 2018
by Robert Hahn

NWAC avalanche forecasts apply to backcountry avalanche terrain in the Olympics, Washington Cascades and Mt Hood area. These forecasts do not apply to developed ski areas, avalanche terrain affecting highways and higher terrain on the volcanic peaks above the Cascade crest level. 

Avoid steeper solar slopes if wet surface snow becomes deeper during the afternoon hours. A small avalanche can have significant consequences near cliffs, trees, or terrain traps such as gulleys.

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Avalanche Problems for Tuesday

Loose Weti

Loose wet avalanches occur where water is running through the snowpack, and release at or below the trigger point. Avoid terrain traps such as cliffs, gullies, or tree wells. Exit avalanche terrain when you see pinwheels, roller balls, a slushy surface, or during rain-on-snow events.

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Avalanche Summary:

Cooling from Sunday afternoon through Monday refroze the top 10-12" of wet surface snow into a firm crust.

Moderate to strong W-NW winds were seen over the weekend at Mt. Hood, but due to continued mild conditions, there is no snow available for transport in the above treeline band (NWAC's forecast does not apply above 7000-8000 feet). The mild and at times wet weather created wet snow conditions well into the above treeline terrain in the Mt Hood area. 

The upper snowpack consist of a mix a thick crust at the surface, wet snow, old crusts, and well consolidated storm snow. 

Observations

Mt. Hood Meadows pro patrol reported that wind kept the snow firm except at the lowest elevations receiving solar heating. Runnels were in the terrain up to 7300'.

Mt. Hood Meadows pro patrol reported that Friday's widespread wet loose avalanche activity had become more stubborn and isolated near and below treeline by Saturday.  The wet upper snowpack was still quite unconsolidated with the most recent 1/18 crust breaking down due to the sustained mild wet weather. Winds were strong near and above treeline but no snow was available for transport in area. 

Forecast for Tuesday:

Significant afternoon warming and and partly cloudy skies will revive the possibility of loose wet avalanches on Tuesday. These avalanches will take longer than usual to form due to the thickness of the surface crust in the Mt. Hood region. However, as the daytime temperatures warm, avoid steeper solar slopes where wet, slushy snow becomes deeper than a few inches.

No Corresponding Mountain Weather Forecast Available

USE AT YOUR OWN RISK

This Backcountry Avalanche Forecast is provided in conjunction with the US Forest Service, and is 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. This forecast describes general avalanche conditions and local variations will always occur. This forecast expires 24 hours after the posted time unless noted otherwise.