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Weekend conditions update — March 26

 | March 26, 2021

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

Two weather systems are on the menu for the last weekend of SPIN’s Weekend conditions update of this winter season.

A pair of weather systems will deliver increasing precipitation and strong winds as the weekend rolls on after an initial high pressure ridge on Friday. Watch for increasing avalanche danger as storm snow builds and wind redistributes it.

Weather forecast

The Avalanche Canada Mountain Weather Forecast predicts the first weather system will tease the Interior with light amounts of snow and strong winds later today and overnight tonight for the western slopes of the northern Interior. As the system sweeps through the province, scattered flurries from this system will affect the rest of the province.

On Saturday morning the second system will replace the first and be the main course for the weekend with precipitation amounts starting at 5 cm for Saturday, then increasing to 20 cm in the Interior regions by Sunday.

Winds will ease as the second system rolls in but increase to 50km/h from the south by Sunday. Freezing levels will steadily rise from valley bottom on Friday to around 1700m by Sunday, depending where you are in the Interior.

The South Coast Inland will see less of the action and receive lighter winds and snow amounts throughout the weekend. Freezing levels will also remain slightly lower than the Interior due to higher pressure on the southwest side of the two predominant weather systems. Sunday however, will deliver some stronger winds and snow to the region.

Sun Peaks Resort is forecasting a cloudy weekend with temperatures at a low -5C a high of -1C and up to 5cm of snow on Sunday.

Avalanche Forecast

The North and South Columbia forecasting regions are both rated at moderate at treeline and above and low below treeline for Saturday. Sunday is forecasted at considerable in the alpine and moderate treeline and below on due to the increasing snow and wind.

Currently storm slabs are the main avalanche concern in those regions at treeline and above on all aspects with the possibility of releasing avalanches up to size two. Expect this issue to become touchier as the wind changes and snow accumulates throughout the weekend.

The Cariboos will be a touch spicier this weekend with an avalanche danger rating of considerable in the alpine, moderate at treeline and low below treeline for Saturday. Sunday’s danger ratings will bump up by one in each elevation band as the snow and winds increase throughout the weekend.

Storm slabs are a large issue in this region at all elevations, on all aspects, and are likely to produce large avalanches up to size 2.5. Be vigilant as you step into more consequential terrain or higher elevations as the snow depth and wind affect will increase.

Cornices are also reported as an avalanche problem in the Cariboos in the alpine on north, northeast, east and southeast aspects, with a possible chance of releasing large avalanches up to size 3.

The South Coast Inland region is low at all elevations Saturday and on Sunday it’s considerable in the alpine, moderate at treeline and low below treeline due to snow and strong winds.

The current avalanche problem in the region is wind slabs in the alpine on all aspects except west and south west. It is possible that wind slab avalanches up to size 1.5 can be released. Cornices are also an issue in the alpine on all aspects except southwest, south and southeast. It’s possible cornice failure could trigger up to size 3 avalanches.

This weekend, watch for melt-freeze cycles in terrain below the freezing level and changing snow conditions as you gain elevation. Minimize exposure to slopes affected by the sun especially if there are overhead cornices.

For more details visit avalanche.ca.

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