Winter has returned to the South San Juan zone, but with winters re-arrival we are once again dealing with heightened avalanche conditions. Snow totals thus far are around 8-10 inches for most of the forecast area. Strong winds accompanied the new snow. Winds started out of the south, but shifted to the north as the storm cell passed. The forecast calls for lingering snow showers this morning, but clearing by mid-day.
Today, you can trigger a Storm Slab avalanche on all steep slopes where you find 8 inches or more of new or wind-drifted snow. With the shift in wind during the storm this issue will be widespread. It is hard to know how well the new snow is bonding, but with reports of natural avalanche activity in the neighboring North San Juan zone, expect conditions to get touchier as you gain elevation. If skies clear this afternoon watch for loose avalanches on sunny slopes as the new snow warms.
I know we are all jonesing for powder, but take a careful approach today as conditions have change over the past 24 hours.
The Friends of CAIC have launched their spring fundraising campaign in an effort to raise $50,000 to support avalanche forecasting and education in Colorado. Every dollar counts. Donate today and support your avalanche center! https://avalanche.state.co.us/donate/