While the Avalanche danger will be low this morning, we expect it to rise throughout the day as new snow accumulates. The biggest concern today will be Fresh wind slab development near and above tree line on NW-N-NE-E-SE aspects. These sensitive wind slabs will grow in size and likelihood through the afternoon and evening as the snow totals increase and the strong winds continue. Use small, benign slopes to investigate how newly loaded snow is reacting.
As the new snow adds up this afternoon and into the evening it will be possible to see storm slab development on all aspects in sheltered areas at low and mid elevations. As this problem gains traction it will be important to keep in mind the poor structure of our thin snow pack. Faceting throughout the snow pack has created a weak base for the new snow to settle on. Furthermore, recent observations of widespread surface hoar and near surface faceting are worth keeping in mind as there is a strong likelihood that new snow will not bond well with the old snow surface. While the strong winds preceding the incoming storm are likely to breakdown surface hoar in wind prone areas it may be possible to find some left standing in more sheltered areas. Special variability will be important to consider as we move into this next storm cycle. After a long period of relatively benign, stable conditions it will be increasingly important to be vigilant as we enter into a time of increased danger and uncertainty. Now is a time to rein it in, practice good travel habits, and carefully evaluate conditions before committing to suspect terrain.