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Avalanche Danger Rose: this graphic represents an avalanche forecaster's idea of how the avalanche danger exists across the topography in a given region. It is not a map...it is an idea. Picture it as a cone-shaped mountain viewed from above, built of three elevation bands; the outer ring represents low elevations, the middle ring represents middle elevations, and the innermost circle represents high elevations. Each elevation band is divided into sectors that represent the slope aspect (N-NE-E-SE-S-SW-W-NW). Each sector\'s color represents the avalanche danger rating assigned that day (see Avalanche Danger Scale).

In this example, the Avalanche Danger Rose depicts an avalanche danger rating of considerable on all high elevation aspects and on north to west-facing mid elevations; all other sectors possess moderate avalanche danger. The illustration depicts the spatial distribution of this forecast across a landscape.
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Avalanche Problem Rose: this graphic represents an avalanche forecaster's idea of the distribution of a particular avalanche problem across the topography in a given region. Picture it as a cone-shaped mountain viewed from above, built of three elevation bands; the outer ring represents low elevations, the middle ring represents middle elevations, and the innermost circle represents high elevations. Each elevation band is divided into sectors that represent the slope aspect (N-NE-E-SE-S-SW-W-NW). Sectors colored grey are thought to have the identified avalanche problem while white sectors do not.

In this example, the Avalanche Problem Rose indicates that a particular avalanche concern exists on all high elevation aspects and on north to west-facing mid elevations and that this concern is far less likely to be encountered on other aspects and elevations.
X Chance of Avalanches: This graphic depicts how likely you are to trigger avalanches or encounter natural avalanches while traveling on avalanche prone slopes. Unlikely means that few avalanches could be triggered in avalanche terrain and natural avalanches are not expected. The chance of triggering or observing avalanches increases as we move up the scale. Certain means that humans will be able to trigger avalanches on many slopes, and natural avalanches should be expected.
X Size of Avalanches: This graphic depicts the potential size and destructive force of expected avalanches. Small avalanches are not large enough to bury humans and are relatively harmless unless they carry people over cliffs or through trees or rocks. Moving up the scale, avalanches become large enough to bury, injure, or kill people, large enough to bury or destroy vehicles and break a few trees, and large enough to destroy railway cars, buildings, or a substantial amount of forest. Historic avalanches are massive events capable of destroying villages and gouging or altering the landscape.
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LOW: Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

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MODERATE: Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.

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CONSIDERABLE: Dangerous avalanche conditions. Careful snowpack evaluation, cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.

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HIGH: Very dangerous avalanche conditions. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.

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EXTREME: Avoid all avalanche terrain.

Current Advisory Summary
February 6, 2016 7:30 am by Matt Wieland

All Zones | Sawtooth Mountains | Smoky & Boulder Mountains | Wood River Valley | Soldier Mountains

Special Announcement

Last Sunday, a snowmobiler was killed in an avalanche near McCall. We send our condolences to the victim's family and friends. The Soldier and Skeleton Creek weather stations are down - we hope to get them up and running on Sunday.

Sawtooth Mountains

Bottom Line: The avalanche danger is MODERATE at middle and upper elevations where it is possible to trigger freshly formed and older wind slab avalanches. You're most likely to trigger an avalanche in exposed terrain or areas below steep cliffs. Stability is better in non-wind loaded terrain but the threat of loose snow avalanches remains possible in very steep terrain. The danger is LOW at lower elevations. ...MORE

Smoky & Boulder Mountains

Bottom Line: The avalanche danger is MODERATE at middle and upper elevations where it is possible to trigger freshly formed and older wind slabs in steep terrain. At middle elevations it remains possible to trigger slabs where they overlie a thin, weak snowpack near the ground or faceted snow closer to the surface. At lower elevations, you may encounter small, isolated wind slabs and the danger is LOW. ...MORE

Wood River Valley

Bottom Line: The avalanche danger is CONSIDERABLE on steep, shady upper and middle elevation slopes. Human-triggered avalanches are likely where buried weaker, faceted snow and/or surface hoar exists. Surface hoar is less widespread on sunnier aspects but avalanches are still possible on steep slopes with crusts, faceted snow, or wind loads creating a MODERATE danger. On sunny, lower elevation slopes the danger is LOW. ...MORE

Soldier Mountains

Bottom Line: The avalanche danger is MODERATE on steep, wind-loaded slopes at all elevations. It is possible for skiers and riders to trigger freshly formed or older wind slabs in exposed terrain. You may encounter multiple generations of soft and hard wind slabs near ridgelines or exposed slopes. Stability is better in terrain sheltered from the wind. ...MORE

Mountain Weather Summary

Yesterday was a fine day in the mountains. Temperatures rose to the mid 20s F under partly cloudy skies and light NW wind. Overnight, the Sawtooths received 1" of new snow while all other areas were not as lucky. Early yesterday evening, ridge top winds picked up and blew moderate from the west near Galena Summit and the western mountains. Overnight lows were around 20 F under partly cloudy skies and a weak inversion has setup this morning.

Today, temperatures will rise to the upper 20s F under partly to mostly cloudy skies. A low pressure trough passes to the north of us and will bring scattered snow showers with little accumulation to the northern mountains. It will also keep breezy conditions in the area with sustained moderate NW wind gusting to strong today. Tonight, winds look to decrease by a little bit and low temperatures should be in the mid-teens F. A strong ridge then builds over the northwest keeping us high and dry into Friday.

Avalanche Notes

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Mountain Weather Summary

Yesterday was a fine day in the mountains. Temperatures rose to the mid 20s F under partly cloudy skies and light NW wind. Overnight, the Sawtooths received 1" of new snow while all other areas were not as lucky. Early yesterday evening, ridge top winds picked up and blew moderate from the west near Galena Summit and the western mountains. Overnight lows were around 20 F under partly cloudy skies and a weak inversion has setup this morning.

Today, temperatures will rise to the upper 20s F under partly to mostly cloudy skies. A low pressure trough passes to the north of us and will bring scattered snow showers with little accumulation to the northern mountains. It will also keep breezy conditions in the area with sustained moderate NW wind gusting to strong today. Tonight, winds look to decrease by a little bit and low temperatures should be in the mid-teens F. A strong ridge then builds over the northwest keeping us high and dry into Friday.

Sawtooth Mountains

Sawtooth Mtns at 9,200'

Last Night
Recorded Past 24 Hours

Today
Expected Through 5pm

Tonight
Expected 5pm - 5am

Temperature

18 F 29 F 16 F

Sky Cover

Partly Cloudy Mostly Cloudy Partly Cloudy

Wind Speed

Light Moderate Moderate

Wind Direction

S SW W

Snowfall

1" Trace" 0"

Smoky & Boulder Mountains

Titus Ridge at 10,000'

Last Night
Recorded Past 24 Hours

Today
Expected Through 5pm

Tonight
Expected 5pm - 5am

Temperature

19 F 26 F 14 F

Sky Cover

Partly Cloudy Mostly Cloudy Partly Cloudy

Wind Speed

Moderate Moderate Moderate

Wind Direction

W NW NW

Snowfall

0" Trace" 0"
           

Wood River Valley

Baldy at 9,000'

Last Night
Recorded Past 24 Hours

Today
Expected Through 5pm

Tonight
Expected 5pm - 5am

Temperature

20 F 28 F 17 F

Sky Cover

Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy

Wind Speed

Light Moderate Moderate

Wind Direction

W NW NW

Snowfall

0" 0" 0"
   

Soldier Mountains

Peak 2 at 9,000'

Last Night
Recorded Past 24 Hours

Today
Expected Through 5pm

Tonight
Expected 5pm - 5am

Temperature

20 F 30 F 16 F

Sky Cover

Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy

Wind Speed

Moderate Strong Strong

Wind Direction

W NW NW

Snowfall

0" 0" 0"
           

General Information

We need your observations! Please let us know what you're seeing in the backcountry, especially if you see or trigger any avalanches. You can email us photos and observations at info@sawtoothavalanche.com, fill out the Observations form on our website, or leave a message at 208-622-0095.