General Snow and Weather Information

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December 2, 2016 7:30 am by Ethan Davis

Bottom Line: The threat of slab avalanches will increase with snow and wind on Sunday. Slabs of stiff snow will form below ridges and rock outcrops in exposed terrain. These slabs may have a hard time bonding to a stout ice layer that formed in November. Stack all of this atop a weak layered snowpack and we’ll have dangerous avalanche conditions at upper-elevations by Sunday afternoon.

We will begin issuing daily advisories when conditions allow widespread recreational access.

Snow and Weather History: Our winter started in mid-October with a bang when the advisory area received 2-5” of water and terrain between about 8,500-9,500’ in elevation near Galena Summit received 6-12” of snow. In the last week, remote weather stations are reporting 7-16” of snow favoring the Sawtooth and Western Smoky Mountains. Generally speaking, elevations below about 9,000’ lack a consistent snowpack (higher on southern aspects). Elevations between about 9,000-10,000’ have a firm base (due to rain in early November and subsequent freezing). The snowpack at these elevations is more complex; skiers near Galena Summit have reported low density snow atop a mix of stout rain crusts and weak sugary snow near the ground. Yesterday, avalanche center staff observed large collapses near Titus Ridge.

Weather Discussion: Today will be mostly clear with light wind shifting to the northwest and a high near 20 F. Saturday will be mostly cloudy and snowy with highs in the mid to upper-20s F. Snow showers will increase Saturday night through Sunday evening. The heaviest snowfall will occur in the afternoon Sunday and coincide with moderate to strong west wind. Snow accumulations by Monday morning will total 6-12 inches with localized upper-elevation slopes receiving up to 16 inches.

Events: Don’t miss the Friends as they host a snowmobile night with a movie and raffle at the Muleshoe in Hailey this Saturday, December 3rd. Check the Education and Events Calendar for details!

General Information