• Backcountry Avalanche Forecast
  • Forecast Discussion
  • Observations & Weather Data

Mon, Dec 6, 2021 at 7:18 AM
Issued by: Jeremy Yanko

Monday

 

Tuesday

Low (1) Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.   Moderate (2) Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully.
Low (1) Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.   Moderate (2) Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully.
Low (1) Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.   Low (1) Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
  Danger Scale

  • No Rating
  • 1
    Low
  • 2
    Moderate
  • 3
    Considerable
  • 4
    High
  • 5
    Extreme

Summary

Today, you may be able to trigger a small slide on very steep, northerly-facing slopes above treeline. Here, you may find wind-stiffened snow that appears smooth and rounded in gully features and below ridgelines. Lower-angled, wind sheltered terrain or slopes with limited snow cover offer safer traveling options. The first, in a series of storms is slated to begin tonight and add a new load to our weak snowpack, potentially increasing the danger starting tomorrow. 

 
Weather Forecast for 11,000ft Issued Mon, Dec 6, 2021 at 12:27 PM by Mike Cooperstein Statewide Weather Forecast
  Monday Night Tuesday Tuesday Night
Temperature (ºF) 15 to 20 25 to 30 11 to 16
Wind Speed (mph) 15 to 25 8 to 18 5 to 15
Wind Direction W WNW SW
Sky Cover Overcast Mostly Cloudy Partly Cloudy
Snow (in) 2 to 4 1 to 3 0

Archived Forecasts

  • Select Forecast: Valid

Mon, Dec 6, 2021 at 7:42 AM
Issued by: Jeremy Yanko Statewide Weather Forecast  

A highly anticipated change is on the horizon as weather models continue to advertise a significant pattern shift and snowfall to begin tonight. By Tuesday morning, if the forecast verifies, we expect avalanche conditions to change and danger to ramp up more by the end of the week. The amount of new snow received and wind accompanied with the two storms forecasted will keep us on our toes each day as this evolves. The snowpack throughout the Southern Mountains is queued up for potentially the first real tolerance test of the season as November was not a big moisture producer. 

The majority of our snowpack, accumulated in the month of October is now faceted and weak at the surface and also within the pack on northerly-facing slopes. Above treeline, east and west aspects offer firm- crusted surfaces overlying weak-faceted snow and older crust layers below. Time will tell, but it will likely not take much of a new load to produce avalanches that step deeper into the foundational snowpack.  

In addition, the snow on north-facing slopes, near and below treeline is also very weak. Those slopes hold loose, cohesionless snow from the surface to the ground. This lack of structure becomes more problematic on steep rolls or creek banks where the weak surface facets are likely to sluff from the weight of a rider and will gain mass while moving downhill. We expect these facet sluffs to remain small in size, but if caught, the consequences could yield a rough ride through shallowly buried obstacles. 

Although the start to the season appears bleak, keep in mind that bare ground or patchy snow-covered terrain provides a clean slate. Those slopes will not have old snow layers lurking below and should offer safer options as new snowfall is added. Patience and careful terrain selection will be crucial moving forward this week and awhile beyond.  

 


  • From Lookout Peak heading southeast toward Molas Pass. North San Juan 12/2/2021 (full)
  • Well developed faceted snow crystals makeup the majority of the snowpack. North San Juan 11/28/21 (full)
  • Aspect coverage variation on east and northeast aspects. Looking up middle fork of Mineral Creek. North San Juan 12/2/2021 (full)
  • Looking southwest toward Yellow Mountain above Ophir. North San Juan 12/2/2021 (full)

See more photos & videos

Five Day Trend

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Today

Tomorrow

danger icon danger icon danger icon danger icon danger icon
danger icon danger icon danger icon danger icon danger icon
danger icon danger icon danger icon danger icon danger icon

  • No Rating
  • 1
    Low
  • 2
    Moderate
  • 3
    Considerable
  • 4
    High
  • 5
    Extreme
Avalanche Observations
No relevant backcountry observations found for this forecast

See All Avalanche Observations

Field Reports
Report Date Observer Snowpack Obs Avalanches Media

See All Field Reports

Weather Observations
Station Date Time Temperature Relative Humidity Wind Speed Wind Direction Max Gust 24 Hr Snow
Dynamo Telluride Ski Resort Mon Dec 6 7:00 PM 17 89 23 258 41 -
Kendall Mt Mon Dec 6 7:00 PM 16 80 12 211 23 -
Molas Pass Mon Dec 6 7:00 PM 29 42 5 214 16 0.1
Putney Mon Dec 6 7:00 PM 18 94 19 265 28 -
Swamp Angel Mon Dec 6 7:00 PM 25 82 3 150 14 -

See All Weather Observations