Bridger Teton Backcountry Avalanche Forecast Center Bridger Teton Avalanche Center

Issued on Wed December 17, 2014 6:58 PM    


Skies were mostly cloudy today with scattered snow flurries. Winds were light from the west-southwest at 5 to 15 miles per hour. Temperatures were in the teens and 20s.

Two to three inches of light density fell overnight. A total of 6 to 12 inches of new snow has fallen during the past five days. This snow lies upon a drought surface that formed during the ten day period from December 3 until December 12. Surface hoar growth was observed on all aspects and elevations when this drought surface began to be covered by new snow on December 13. At the mid and upper elevations this drought layer is comprised of sun crusts, firm wind-packed snow, and areas of graupel and dry settled powder snow. Its a rain crust below an elevation of 7,500 feet.

The past five days have been uniquely calm. Slab development will begin when the winds increase. This early December drought surface will be a future problem layer and bed surface for avalanche activity in the upcoming days and weeks.

FORECAST FOR Thursday, December 18, 2014

One weak weather system has excited to the east and another is headed this way from the southwest. Skies will be partly cloudy overnight. On Thursday temperatures will be in the teens in the morning and rise into the 20s during the day. Clouds will be on the increase with light snowfall possible in the afternoon and into the evening. Accumulations of a couple inches are likely by Friday morning. Winds are forecast to be west-southwest at 10 miles per hour until they begin to increase near the end of the day.

The general avalanche hazard is expected to be LOW in the Greys River and Teton areas and below an elevation of 9,000 feet in the Togwotee Pass/Continental Divide Trail area. In these areas isolated pockets of soft slab up to a foot in depth could be triggered on the early December drought surface in steep terrain. In the upper elevations of the Togwotee Pass area the hazard is MODERATE. Here the weight of a single person could trigger hard slabs up to three feet in depth in isolated areas on steep northerly aspects.

TREND FOR Friday, December 19, 2014 AND Saturday, December 20, 2014

Stronger winds will increase the avalanche hazard. Periods of light snowfall will continue into the weekend.
For further information call 307-733-2664 To report an avalanche observation call 307-739-2607
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