Wet avalanches are the main issue today. Many slopes have already produced wet slides, but I suspect there will be more today for 3 reasons
- Air temperatures did not drop below freezing anywhere last night.
- Clouds may have prevented the snow from refreezing. (Clear skies can allow the snow to refreeze sometimes despite warm air temps)
- Air temperatures have been 5-10 degrees warmer than the previous morning for the last three days.
On many slopes the snowpack is building it's "plumbing" system. This means drainage channels are being established. Once this happens, the snowpack can get very warm and drain a lot of water without becoming unstable. This process has already happened on some low elevation slopes that received rain during the last few storms.
For now however, wet avalanches are likely as soon as the snow starts to heat up. This process won't take long because the snow did not refreeze last night. Mostly I expect loose wet avalanches. but given the dramatic warm-up a few wet slabs are possible even though we haven't seen any happen. Wet slabs are often triggered by a smaller loose wet slide.
The only places that may escape having any wet avalanches are the highest elevation northerly facing slopes. Even on those slopes, I doubt the snow has stayed dry with strong south winds acting like a hair dryer this morning.
, avoid being under any slope with a large glide crack
. These are large cracks where the snow rest on a smooth ground surface and begins creeping/sliding downhill. At seemingly random times, these slopes can produce glide avalanches
. Look for these large obvious cracks and just avoid hanging out beneath them.