Western Wyoming PM Forecast

Issued on Mon January 24, 2022 6:01 PM

Situation

The day began with generally clear skies with strong valley inversions in place. By late in the afternoon clouds began to thicken in advance of a weak system moving in from the north. Winds were stronger in the morning with average speeds in the high twenty/low thirty mph range out of the west. The winds slowed slightly throughout the day and were generally out of the west in the 15-20 mph range by days end. Valley inversions broke down and saw another day of temperature swings from the negative single digits into the thirties in some locations. Ridgetop temperatures climbed from the low teens into the low twenties. As this weak system moves in from the north temperatures are on the decline at all elevations.

Some natural avalanche activity was reported in a permanently closed part of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort today. A shallow soft slab formed by strong winds overnight last night released on a steep northeast facing slope at 10,000 feet. This is a good reminder that although the snowpack is generally stable, there are isolated pockets of unstable snow in steep upper elevation terrain. This is the case in the Teton and Southwest Trails forecast areas.
In the Togwotee Pass area there is still the lingering possibility of triggering a deeper slab on weak snow near the base of the snowpack. While the chances of triggering are low, the potential consequences remain high. Whether or not those layers are dormant on a given slope should not change your approach. Continuing to ride one at a time and minimizing your exposure is the most effective way to manage this problem.

Forecast For Tuesday, January 25, 2022

A weak pulse of moisture will move through the area from north to south overnight tonight. Light snow showers will end by morning, with a trace to 2 inches possible in all three forecast areas. Winds will shift from west to north-northeast and be in the 15-20 mph range. Skies will be mostly sunny in the Tetons and partly cloudy in the Southwest Trails and Togwotee areas during the day. Ridgetop temperatures will rise from the single digits into the high teens and low twenties in the afternoon.

The small amount of new snow will not be enough to change the avalanche danger. It will be important to pay attention to wind loading of any loose surface snow combined with winds out of the north and northeast, as these wind directions are not typical. Isolated pockets of shallow wind slab may be encountered in very steep upper elevation terrain. Aside from this isolated problem, avalanches will be unlikely in the Teton and Southwest Trails areas and the danger will be Low. In the Togwotee Pass/Continental Divide area the danger will remain Moderate above 8,500 feet for the possibility of triggering a slab in the 2-4 foot depth range. Below 8,500 feet the avalanche danger will be Low.

Trend For Wednesday, January 26, 2022 AND Thursday, January 27, 2022

High pressure will re-establish itself over the area. Dry conditions and cooler temperatures will remain in place for this time period. The avalanche danger will be similar during this time.
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