Bridger Teton Backcountry Avalanche Forecast Center Bridger Teton Avalanche Center

Issued on Wed December 07, 2016 5:52 PM    


Today was partly cloudy with frequent clouds at mountain top levels. Temperatures were cold. At 9000 feet highs were near zero degrees while summits stayed in the negatives where west-northwest winds had ten to twenty mile per hour averages. Valley temperatures reached the low teens.

The cold temperatures and time since rapid loading have slightly lessened the sensitivity of potential slab avalanches. This does not mean they are any less dangerous. The fact is both types of avalanche problems(wind slabs and deep persistent slabs) remain serious concerns. Hard slabs lie upon the October rain crust in west, north, and east facing higher terrain and soft to hard wind slabs lie over lighter snow on a larger variety of aspects. The cold temperatures are causing some faceting near and on the snowpack’s surface.

FORECAST FOR Thursday, December 08, 2016

Thursday morning looks to be mostly clear and cold. V temperatures near twenty below zero are expected with mountain top temperatures a few degrees warmer. Some fog and flurries are possible. Highs are to be in the teens as conditions warm slightly in advance on an oncoming weather system. This system should bring snowfall to the area during the afternoon or early evening hours.

The general avalanche hazard will be Considerable above 9000 feet, Moderate from 7500 to 9000 feet and Low below 7500 feet. The potential continues for a single person to trigger dangerous slab avalanches with depths to five feet in steep terrain on certain aspects at the high elevations. Wind slabs with depths to two feet could also be triggered.

TREND FOR Friday, December 09, 2016 AND Saturday, December 10, 2016

A winter storm watch is in effect Thursday afternoon through mid day Saturday. Strong southwest winds, warmer temperatures, and heavy snowfall are expected throughout Friday and then into Saturday as cold air pushes in behind the relatively warm storm. The avalanche hazard is expected to elevate as existing slabs increase in size and sensitivity and as new wind slabs form over existing snow surfaces.
For further information call 307-733-2664 To report an avalanche observation call 307-739-2607
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