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Mt Hood

Issued: 6:00 PM Thursday, January 29, 2015
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.

A low danger is expected on Thursday. Watch for terrain hazards due to the low snowpack.

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

Avalanche Problems

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.

  • Avalanche Problemi
  • Aspect/Elevationi
  • Likelihoodi
  • Sizei

Snowpack Analysis:

Last weekend a warm front caused high snow levels and rain. NWAC sites at Mt Hood had about .5-1.5 inches of rain. Mainly mild or sunny weather has been seen so far this week.

Last week the Meadows pro-patrol reported crusts and melt forms in the upper pack last week with good stability. Some low density snow from the previous storm was transported to N-NE slopes near and above treeline.

Then over the weekend during the warm rainy weather the Meadows pro-patrol reported a saturated upper snowpack but little in the way of avalanches.

The Meadows pro-patrol continues to report a surface crust and melt form layers in the upper snow pack this week.

Overall the snow pack at Mt Hood should also predominately consist of stable consolidated rounded grains or melt form layers and crusts from warm periods so far this winter.

Detailed Forecast for Friday:

An upper ridge will be over the Northwest on Friday. This will cause light winds, sunny weather and mild temperatures.

This weather will cause little change in overall stable snow conditions at Mt Hood and a low avalanche danger.

The limited avalanche problem to watch for should be loose wet avalanches. Watch for wet snow deeper than a few inches or natural avalanches on steep solar slopes. But the likelihood and size will be listed as unlikely and small respectively.

Due to the low snowpack at lower elevations watch for terrain hazards such as open creeks, partially covered rocks and vegetation.