Weekend conditions update — March 12

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

Weather Forecast

A ridge of high pressure will remain over southern B.C. for most of the weekend with increasing temperatures and freezing levels throughout. 

Tonight will kick off the weekend with freezing levels between surface and 500 metres and southwesterly winds of up to 30 km/h.

Saturday morning will continue with dry and mild weather due to the ridge over the southern half of the province but freezing levels will rise to 2500 metres by the afternoon. Similar winds up to 30 km/h will remain for Saturday and alpine temperatures could reach 0C.

On Sunday the ridge will remain over the southern half of the province while a low forms over the Pacific. Weather models don’t show the low system bringing any precipitation to the southern part of the province.

Sun Peaks Resort is forecasting a sunny Saturday with a high of 2C and partly cloudy skies for Sunday with a high of 3C.

Avalanche Forecast

Avalanche danger ratings and avalanche problems are fairly uniform throughout the forecasting zones that neighbour the Sun Peaks area. Keep in mind that spatial variability is a factor in avalanche terrain.

The South Coast Inland and North and South Columbia zones are forecasted as considerable in the alpine and moderate treeline and below for Saturday and Sunday.

The Cariboo danger rating is forecasted as moderate at all elevations Saturday and considerable in the alpine Sunday while treeline and below are rated as moderate.

Today, wind slabs are the number one and only forecasted avalanche problem for all areas.

The South Coast Inland’s wind slabs are prevalent in the alpine on all aspects except south and southwest. It is possible a wind slab avalanche could go up to size two. Watch for shifting wind patterns where you are travelling and cracking or changes in snow stiffness.

For the Columbia forecast zones, the wind slab is present in the alpine at all elevations and could possibly release up to size two avalanches. Avalanche Canada warns that lingering wind slabs remain active to human triggers on steep, convex slopes below ridgetops. It recommends avoiding cornices when the sun is out, and suggests sheltered north facing terrain will host the best riding.

The Cariboo zone will also have good north facing sheltered snow for the best riding conditions but wind slabs are in the alpine and limited to northwest, north, northeast, east and southeast aspects where its possible up to size two avalanches could be released by human triggers. It is also advised to avoid overhead cornice hazards.

Be advised that danger ratings and avalanche problems could change as the temperatures remain elevated this weekend.

For the full forecast, visit www.avalanche.ca.

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