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Wed, May 1, 2019 at 6:04 AM
Issued by: Brian Lazar

Today

 

Tomorrow

Moderate (2) Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully.   Moderate (2) Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully.
Moderate (2) Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully.   Considerable (3) Dangerous avalanche conditions. Cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.
Moderate (2) Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully.   Considerable (3) Dangerous avalanche conditions. Cautious route-finding and conservative decision-making essential.
  Danger Scale

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Summary

You can trigger an avalanche large enough to bury you today. The Aspen zone received 1 to almost 2 feet of new snow in the last couple days with the deepest accumulations in the upper Crystal River valley. You can trigger slabs in the storm snow up to 3 feet deep, and there are likely sensitive cornices along ridgelines. Slabs are thickest, stiffest, and most dangerous on north to east to southeast facing slopes that are received the most wind-drifted snow. Look for cracking in the new snow as a sign of slab formation. Safer riding options exist on slopes less than about 35 degrees. 

The storm snow could start to shed off the old surface as temperatures warm this afternoon. Look for wet cohesionless snow at lower elevations. Roller balls, and slushy surface conditions more than about 6 inches deep are signs that wet avalanche activity is imminent.   This concern will increase the avalanche danger on Thursday with warmer temperatures and more sunshine. 

This is the last zone forecast of the 2018-19 season. We will issue daily regional forecasts by 3:00 PM through May 31

 

Avalanche Problem

 
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N
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Above Treeline
Near Treeline
Below Treeline
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Historic
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Avalanche Character Aspect/Elevation Likelihood Size

What You Need to Know About These Avalanches


Storm Slab avalanches release naturally during snow storms and can be triggered for a few days after a storm. They often release at or below the trigger point. They exist throughout the terrain. Avoid them by waiting for the storm snow to stabilize.

Avalanche Problem

 
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N
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E
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NE
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Above Treeline
Near Treeline
Below Treeline
Certain
Very Likely
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Possible
Unlikely
Historic
Very Large
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Avalanche Character Aspect/Elevation Likelihood Size

What You Need to Know About These Avalanches


Loose Wet avalanches occur when water is running through the snowpack, and release at or below the trigger point. Avoid very steep slopes and terrain traps such as cliffs, gullies, or tree wells. Exit avalanche terrain when you see pinwheels, roller balls, a slushy surface, or during rain-on-snow events.

Avalanche Problem

 
problem icon
N
S
E
W
NW
NE
SE
SW
Above Treeline
Near Treeline
Below Treeline
Certain
Very Likely
Likely
Possible
Unlikely
Historic
Very Large
Large
Small
Avalanche Character Aspect/Elevation Likelihood Size

What You Need to Know About These Avalanches


Persistent Slab avalanches can be triggered days to weeks after the last storm. They often propagate across and beyond terrain features that would otherwise confine Wind and Storm Slab avalanches. In some cases they can be triggered remotely, from low-angle terrain or adjacent slopes. Give yourself a wide safety buffer to address the uncertainty.

Weather Forecast for 11,000ft Issued Wed, May 1, 2019 at 4:01 AM by Brian Lazar Statewide Weather Forecast
  Wednesday Wednesday Night Thursday
Temperature (ºF) 28 to 33 15 to 20 32 to 37
Wind Speed (mph) 10 to 20 5 to 15 8 to 18
Wind Direction W SW WSW
Sky Cover Mostly Cloudy Mostly Clear Partly Cloudy
Snow (in) 2 to 5 0 0

Archived Forecasts

  • Select Forecast: Valid

Wed, May 1, 2019 at 6:50 AM
Issued by: Brian Lazar Statewide Weather Forecast  

That was a nice little storm to close out April. The Central Mountains generally picked up around a foot of dense new snow in the last couple days, with snow water equivalent of around 1 to 2 inches. Schofield SNOTEL site picked up 3.5 inches of water with 22 inches of snow.  

This is enough new snow by itself to create Storm Slab avalanches in areas that picked up more than about 10 inches. Warm spring temperatures will promote rapid settlement in the new snow, and you will be able to trigger avalanches 6 to 10 inches thick even in sheltered areas. Strong west to southwest winds are building fresh wind-drifted slabs. The slabs forming on northwest to east to southeast-facing slopes will be thicker (up to 3 or even 4 feet deep) and stiffer. This means avalanches on these slopes will be bigger and more dangerous. 

There is a lot of new storm snow sitting out there, and it's bound to shed off the old snow surface with wet avalanches. This could start this afternoon at lower elevations. It's the first day of May, and the sun will have a significant impact on the new snow. It won’t take much sun for the new snow to start sluffing down-slope. With snow depths around a foot or more, there will be enough new snow for sluffs to entrain additional snow creating larger piles at the bottoms of slopes or in terrain traps.

This is the last day of 10-zone forecasts for the season.  We will continue to issue daily regional (Northern, Central, and Southern Mountains) forecasts and danger ratings through May. Get daily updates at our website colorado.gov/avalanche and please continue to send us your observations! 


  • Small sluff in Coon Basin on an east aspect, near treeline. (full)
  • West Elk Wilderness. The cornice gouged to the ground and produced a very large D3 avalanche on a north face at 12,200ft. (full)
  • Tests on a tiny, but steep slope showed sluffing only a couple inches down. (full)
  • Collapsing and cracking in very shallow areas below treeline where a thin, breakable slab sits on wet depth hoar below. (full)
  • Rolling collapses, triggered by the weight of a sled. (full)

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Avalanche Observations
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Field Reports
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Weather Observations
Station Date Time Temperature Relative Humidity Wind Speed Wind Direction Max Gust 24 Hr Snow
Chapman Tunnel Mon Jun 24 9:00 AM 43 - - - - -
Independence Pass Mon Jun 24 9:00 AM 43 - - - - -
Ivanhoe Mon Jun 24 9:00 AM 47 - - - - -
Sunlight Mon Jun 24 11:00 AM 46 46 8 270 - -
Schofield Pass Mon Jun 24 9:00 AM 46 - 1 98 - 1.0

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