The mountains picked up about 4" of new, heavy snow overnight, and winds blowing from the south-southwest continued to drift snow into lee terrain. Yesterday we found deeper-than-expected new snow in northerly-facing terrain, with the best conditions on sheltered lower-angled slopes.
Heavy snow, rain down low, and drifting by westerly winds will cause the avalanche danger to rise today. People could trigger slab avalanches of drifted new snow on upper and mid-elevation slopes steeper than 30°. Dangerous hard slab avalanches failing on a deeply buried persistent weak layer are unlikely yet possible in outlying rocky terrain with shallow snow cover. People may trigger wet avalanches on steep slopes with saturated snow at low elevations.
The wind is blowing from the south-southwest this morning at around 25 mph, with overnight gusts up to 64 mph at the 9700' CSI Logan Peak weather station, where it's 23° F. On Paris Peak at 9500', it’s 24° F, and the wind is blowing 5 to 10 mph with gusts around 20 mph from the south-southwest. The Tony Grove Snotel at 8400' reports 29° F and 4 inches of new snow overnight with .4" SWE. The station reports 82 inches of total snow, containing 120% of average SWE (Snow Water Equivalent).
Today, snow could be heavy at times in the mountains and 4 to 8 inches of accumulation is possible. High temperatures at 8500' are expected to reach 31° F. The wind is expected to come around from the west-northwest and blow 17-23 mph. Snow is likely to continue tonight, with 1 to 3 additional inches of accumulation possible. Temperatures will drop throughout the remainder of the week, with high temperatures in the 20's F and lows in the single digits by Thursday night and into the weekend.
No avalanches were reported yesterday, but we noticed some fresh wet avalanche activity at lower elevations in Providence Canyon. One party observed collapsing at upper elevations in the Franklin Basin Area. Audible collapsing (or whumpfs) is a red flag indicating unstable snow.
Check out local observations and avalanches HERE