Forecast for the Abajos Area Mountains

Issued by Eric Trenbeath for Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 7:29am
Blowing and drifting snow have created dangerous avalanche conditions and the avalanche danger is HIGH on upper elevation slopes that face the north half of the compass. Natural and human triggered avalanches are likely on steep, wind drifted slopes, and natural avalanches are possible off the steep, higher peaks. Above treeline, shallow wind slabs may be found on all aspects, but deeper drifts will have formed on slopes facing NW-N-E. Avoid steep slopes with recent deposits of wind drifted snow, and stay out from under high, steep faces that have a northerly aspect.
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Weather and Snow
Snow has not yet begun to fall in the Abajo Mountains but the story continues to be the wind. Overnight speeds on Abajo Peak are averaged 15-25 mph with gusts to 40 from the SE. Expect them to increase today with gusts as high as 60 mph. 4"-8" of snow are possible tonight with another 4"-8" possible tonight. High temps will be in the mid 20's before tanking into the single digits tonight. Tomorrow will see continued snow, wind, and cold temperatures.
Kevin Dressel was out Sunday and sent in this observation.
Snow totals at Buckboard Flat (8924')
Snow totals at Camp Jackson (8858')
Wind, temperature, and humidity on Abajo Peak (11,000')
National Weather Service point forecast.
Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
Natural and human triggered avalanches involving wind drifted snow are likely today. Avoid steep slopes with recent deposits of wind drifted snow
Avalanche Problem #2
Persistent Weak Layer
New snow, and wind drifted snow will add additional stress to buried, persistent weak layers in the snowpack. Our primary concern is layer of weak, sugary snow at the base of the snowpack, and human triggered avalanches failing on this weak layer are likely today. The danger is greatest on steep, mid and upper elevation slopes facing NW-N-E, but in some areas the problem wraps around to W and SE facing slopes.
General Announcements
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This advisory is from the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, which is solely responsible for its content. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur.

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