It’s a complicated morning as a wet spring storm brought rain and snow to the Southern Mountains. Snowline is around 9,500 feet but will drop to lower elevations as a cold front moves in from the west sometime after daybreak.
The snow surface below treeline is saturated. Wet snow is dangerous on steep slopes and can be surprisingly forceful and hard to escape. Rollerballs, pinwheels, and dribbling snow from rocky areas are the first indicators of increasing danger. If you observe these signals of wet avalanche potential, move to low angle slopes clear of overhead hazard. As temperatures drop this problem will slowly heal, and danger will decrease below treeline.
As dry snow accumulates, and strong southwest winds move snow onto leeward slopes the potential for avalanches in the new snow will rise at upper elevations. Avoid steep slopes were you find 6 inches or more of new or drifted snow. You are most likely to find the deepest drifts of snow in cross-loaded gullies, just below ridgelines, and near isolated terrain features on northwest to north through southeast facing slopes.
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