Mt Hood

Issued: 6:00 PM Monday, December 22, 2014
by Garth Ferber

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.

In the Olympics and southeast Cascades where there is still a marginal snowpack a danger rating has not been forecast.

Avoid steep previous lee slopes with firmer wind transported snow from the recent storm mainly in the above treeline band Tuesday.

Danger Scalei
  • No Rating
  • Low
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  • Considerable
  • High
  • Extreme

Avalanche Problems

Wind Slabi

Wind slabs can take up to a week to stabilize. They are confined to lee and cross-loaded terrain features and can be avoided by sticking to sheltered or wind scoured areas.

  • Avalanche Concerni
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Snowpack Analysis:

A strong warm storm moved over the Northwest Saturday and Sunday. Winds were seen to over 100 mph at some locations. Especially strong winds and heavy precipitation was seen at Mt Hood. Precipitation fell as snow mainly in the above treeline zone Saturday and Sunday.

No avalanches were reported Saturday or Sunday probably due to the horrific weather conditions and lack of back country travel.

Decreasing winds and a little cooling were seen at the tail end of the storm Sunday night and Monday early morning with about 5-10 inches of new making it down to NWAC weather stations in the near treeline zone. No avalanches have been reported so far Monday and conditions will have partly stabilized.

Some lingering wind slab and storm slab are likely mainly in the above treeline zone on Monday.

Detailed Forecast for Tuesday:

Partly cloudy weather Tuesday morning should give way to mostly cloudy weather in the afternoon. This is not likely to create significant new layers by Tuesday afternoon.

Watch for wind slab from the previous storm that will be most likely to linger on steep north to southeast slopes in the above treeline band.

Increasing winds and increasing rain or snow may begin to create new layers Tuesday night.