Weekend conditions update — Feb 6

Every weekend SPIN will compile the current avalanche forecasts and weather for the Interior. As a reminder, we’ve pulled this information together for a convenient overview to help make your initial plans and recommend reading the full avalanche forecast, and checking and assessing conditions on your own specific to your unique location. Tune in at the end of each week to get the forecast before your weekend adventures begin!

A mixed bag of weather, without much snow accumulation will take place over the weekend thanks to an offshore ridge that is expected to stay in place.

Over the weekend it will continue to bring down quick moving frontal systems from the north over B.C.’s Interior, like the one that brought 10cm of snow Thursday night.

Moderate amounts of snow in the one to five centimetre range will come down the pipe for theiInterior on Saturday according to Avalanche Canada’s Mountain Weather Forecast.

The Interior sits between one windy arctic front that hovers above the Rockies and an unstable low pressure band over the South Coastal region.

Sunday won’t see too much change other than Arctic air will continue to make its way south. This  will mostly affect the Rockies but will start to creep over the Cariboos as the weekend comes to an end.

Local weather is forecasted to bring increased cloud tonight with windy conditions up to 50 km/h gusts and a high near -6C. Saturday could see a couple centimetres of snow with more cloud and wind and a low of -12C and high of -9C. Sunday the skies could break but it will be much colder as the low drops to -16C and the high to -12C. Gusty winds are also expected for the remainder of the weekend.

Avalanche Forecast

Avalanche Canada’s avalanche forecast mimics the stagnant weather with a uniform avalanche danger rating for the Cariboos, North and South Columbia avalanche regions with a considerable rating at all elevations for Friday to Saturday, except for a moderate rating below treeline in the Cariboos on Sunday.

Sixty to 100cm storm slabs are the dominant problem in the North and South Columbia regions on all aspects. Elevations are likely to produce size 1.5 to 2.5 sized avalanches because the slabs sit atop a weak surface hoar layer buried late January and are likely to propagate.

The second avalanche problem for the regions is a persistent slab that is present at and below treeline on all aspects which is likely to set off sized 1.5 to 2.5 sized avalanches.

Early in the week many human and natural avalanches were released including a size three storm slab avalanche and last weekend the Gorge and Revelstoke areas saw a widespread natural avalanche cycle up to size 2 on the surface hoar layer.

“Conservative terrain choices are critical right now. Large avalanches remain sensitive to human triggering and many have run in terrain that you wouldn’t consider ‘scary’. Take a look through recent MIN posts for an idea of what’s happening,” read Avalanche Canada’s North Columbia avalanche forecast.

The Cariboos have received less snow, negating the storm slab problem seen in the south but a persistent slab above two surface hoar layers, one of which is down 40 to 60cm and the second is 70 to 110cm down. Both are being triggered at treeline and below on all aspects. The problem shows a likely chance of avalanches that could be up to size 2.5. 

Stronger winds also have forecasters concerned about a wind slab problem at treeline and above on north, west and south aspects which are likely to set off sized 1.5 to 2.5 avalanches.

The South Coast Inland avalanche region is forecast as moderate at all elevations for Saturday and Sunday except for a low danger rating below treeline on Sunday. 

Storm slabs are the number one problem here at all elevations, on all aspects and are likely to produce up to size two avalanches. Wind loaded areas are expected to be especially reactive. A persistent slab which sits on a buried layer consisting of facets, surface hoar, or a crust is 30 to 80cm deep and present at all elevations, aspects and possible to set off size 1.5 to 2.5 avalanches.

The Coquihalla summit saw 9cm of snow Thursday night, which is less than other areas in the region so dangers could be a step lower according to Avalanche Canada. However, the snowpack is variable and it is recommended to make conservative terrain choices as the storm snow settles.

To get the full forecast visit www.avalanche.ca

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