Western Wyoming PM Forecast

Issued on Wed February 24, 2021 7:11 PM

Situation

Today’s weather was a mix of overcast to clearing skies that allowed for visibility throughout the mountain ranges. Temperatures started cold in the single digits and then warmed into the teens and 20s. Some valley locations warmed into the 30s. Winds were light and variable with the dominant wind direction from the north. Snow surfaces in most areas remained cold and dry, and the snowpack continued to settle about 1 to 3 today.

Due to the intermittent visibility, evidence of many large to very large natural avalanches, which likely occurred during the most recent loading cycle, were observed. Today on the Teton Pass, a group remotely triggered a large avalanche on a south-facing slope around 9,500 feet. There was also an observation from Togwotee Pass identifying very poor snowpack structure. Recent avalanche activity is the most essential data indicating avalanches are likely to be triggered by people.

Forecast For Thursday, February 25, 2021

Cloud cover will continue to lessen overnight as a weak ridge builds over the region. In the morning, skies are expected to be mostly clear and then clouds will develop throughout the day. Temperatures overnight will drop below zero and will then warm into the teens and 20s tomorrow. Ridgetop winds will be westerly at 10 to 25 mph.

In all three forecast areas, terrain selection is imperative to avoid being caught in a dangerous and likely deadly avalanche. The avalanche hazard will remain Considerable. There is a good chance for humans to trigger slab avalanches up to 8 feet deep on avalanche-prone terrain. Although large persistent slabs are the main concern, winds slabs that formed during yesterday’s passing cold front will be more easily triggered and could step down initiating a much larger slide.

The morning’s clear skies will allow for the sun to impact solar aspects and increase the potential for triggering an avalanche. The snowpack is still adjusting from a major loading event that began in early February, and during this period of adjustment, the snowpack is in flux making it more likely an individual could trigger large slides. Cautious route-finding and avoiding steep terrain are essential for those who want to return home safely.

Trend For Friday, February 26, 2021 AND Saturday, February 27, 2021

Light snowfall is expected to begin Thursday evening and last through Saturday. In some areas, the avalanche hazard will slightly increase. Fatal avalanches will remain possible.
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