The last “Winter” Storm of the season is upon us. The National Weather Service’s Winter Storm Warning forecasts the possibility of as much as 2-3 ft of new snow falling on the south and west facing slopes of our Cascade volcanoes by Thursday a.m. Along with that, “VERY DANGEROUS AVALANCHE CONDITIONS DEVELOPING OVERNIGHT AND EARLY WEDNESDAY. AS A RESULT AN AVALANCHE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE OLYMPICS, WA CASCADES NEAR AND WEST OF THE CREST AND THE MT HOOD AREA.” The full warning is below. With the high avi danger, we’ll be staying in bounds throughout this next big storm. If today was any indication, the conditions in bounds will be incredible. Soft, light powder everywhere today on Alpental. Not a lot of people on the mountain (no lines whatsoever) but those who made it out all said that today was one of the best days of the season.
AVALANCHE WARNING: IN EFFECT FOR THE OLYMPICS… WASHINGTON CASCADES NEAR AND WEST OF THE CREST… MT HOOD AREA LATE TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY…
A STRONG STORM WILL BRING HEAVY RAIN AND SNOW…VERY STRONG WINDS AND RISING FREEZING LEVELS TO THE OLYMPICS, CASCADES AND MT HOOD AREA OVERNIGHT AND EARLY WEDNESDAY. THESE CONDITIONS WILL RESULT IN A SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASING AVALANCHE DANGER WITH VERY DANGEROUS AVALANCHE CONDITIONS DEVELOPING OVERNIGHT AND EARLY WEDNESDAY. AS A RESULT AN AVALANCHE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE OLYMPICS, WA CASCADES NEAR AND WEST OF THE CREST AND THE MT HOOD AREA.
AN EXPECTED SHIFT TO STRONG WESTERLY FLOW ACROSS THE CASCADES WEDNESDAY MORNING MAY BE ACCOMPANIED BY RAPID WARMING IN THE LOWER PASSES. THIS MAY CAUSE A CHANGE FROM SNOW TO RAIN NEAR STEVENS AND SNOQUALMIE PASSES WHICH MAY IN TURN CAUSE A RAPID INCREASE IN DANGER.
TRAVEL IN AVALANCHE TERRAIN IS NOT RECOMMENDED LATE TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY
LESS EXPECTED SNOWFALL ALONG THE CASCADE EAST SLOPES SHOULD CAUSE LESS THAN AVALANCHE WARNING CRITERIA TO BE REACHED, HOWEVER AN ELEVATED AVALANCHE DANGER IS EXPECTED.
THIS STATEMENT WILL BE UPDATED AS WARRANTED. FOR HOURLY MOUNTAIN WEATHER DATA AND COMPLETE FORECAST DETAILS PLEASE VISIT WWW.NWAC.US
BACKCOUNTRY TRAVELERS SHOULD BE AWARE THAT ELEVATION AND GEOGRAPHIC DISTINCTIONS ARE APPROXIMATE AND THAT A TRANSITION ZONE BETWEEN DANGERS EXISTS. REMEMBER THERE ARE AVALANCHE SAFE AREAS IN THE MOUNTAINS DURING ALL LEVELS OF AVALANCHE DANGER.
KRAMER/NORTHWEST WEATHER AND AVALANCHE CENTER