Weather, Avalanche and Web Site Launch Outlook
Friday 6 December 2013
Recent Weather and Snowpack:
A strong plume of moisture accompanied by very strong westerly jet stream flow took aim at the Northwest last weekend. This initially produced very heavy or record breaking rain but snow was seen at the tail end of the storm. Up to 1-2 feet of snow was seen at higher elevations with a few inches at pass levels and below.
Then early this week fair weather took over and very cold Arctic air filtered into the region.
Recent reports generally indicate a bit of a mix of conditions. Most folks on sheltered slopes report varied amounts of generally cohesionless hoar frost, recrystallized snow and powder over the firm stable crust from last weekend. Areas of scoured crust and small areas of wind transported snow or possible wind slab have been reported on summits and near ridges.
Weather and Avalanche Danger Outlook Friday to Monday:
A little light snow might be seen in the south Cascades and at Mt Hood today. But the sunny weather seen today in the north to central Cascades should spread to the south Cascades by Saturday. It looks like the strong east winds seen at the top of Crystal and at the passes especially Snoqualmie this morning will remain so until Saturday morning but then gradually diminish Saturday afternoon.
Mostly sunny but not quite as cold weather should be seen Sunday. Partly sunny weather with further gradually moderating temperatures should be seen on Monday.
Overall the avalanche danger should remain low this weekend with generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for small areas of wind transported snow and wind slab on isolated slopes at higher elevations near summits and ridges. Don't take a fall on an icy steep slope.
At low elevations the shallow snow and terrain and vegetation anchors should continue to limit avalanche danger.
New Web Site and Regular Forecasting Planned Next Week:
Personnel at the NWAC have had a very busy fall preparing a much anticipated new web site as well as installing and repairing weather stations.
Temperatures should continue to gradually moderate early next week. Weather systems are currently indicated to begin rolling through the Northwest about mid-week.
The new web site launch is currently planned for next Monday. We currently plan to begin regular weather and avalanche forecasting mid-week.
Ferber/Northwest Avalanche Center