Last night the mountains got a solid freeze, with some help from the North winds. The Sun is forecasted to come out in force today, which will put smiles on many peoples faces, except the snow pack, which will likely shed snow in the form of loose-wet avalanches. Be cautious throughout the day as the hazard climbs with the temperature, especially on lower elevation SE, S,SW, and W slopes where the sun heats up the snow surface. If you are seeing natural point releases/ loose snow avalanches, and or roller balls, move to an aspect that is cooler, and not in the direct sunlight.
With a few inches of new snow in the mountains yesterday, and decent gusts from the Southern end of the compass yesterday, and from the Northern end of the compass last night, you may find some shallow 2-6 inch fresh wind slabs on all aspects in the upper elevations, especially above tree line, that could be sensitive to the weight of a snowmobile or skier.
Snowmobiler/Snowbiker Travel Restrictions: Please respect these closures and other users recreating in them. Winter Travel Map(East side). You can download the map to the AVENZA app on your phone, and know your exact location while you are out riding. It is your responsibility to know where closures exist on the forest.
The Granite Mountain Area Closure is in effect Jan15-March 31, please respect Snowcats operating, signed and unsigned closures and other users in this and nearby areas. In addition there are other areas on the Payette National Forest that are CLOSED to snowmobile traffic including Jughandle Mt east of Jug Meadows, North of Boulder Mtn, East of Rapid Peak, North of the 20 mile drainage, Lick Creek/Lake Fork Drainage (on the right side of the road as you are traveling up canyon), and the area north of Brundage Mt Ski area to junction "V" and along the east side of Brundage and Sergeants' Mts. with the exception of the Lookout Rd( junction "S").
Ski areas are closed to snowmobile traffic, last week a group of snowmobilers poached the Northern portion of Tamarack Resort crossing under a fixed and signed rope line and left trenches on 3 of the ski runs that don't get groomed. Don't be "that guy" that gives sledders a bad name, please respect boundaries, snowmobiling at a ski resort is a low blow and a safety concern.
Yesterday, we toured the Pearl-Burnside area and witnessed the effects of the last rain event. Most of the giant cornices hung on through the rain, but some did not, and large chunks broke off on many Northern aspects along with numerous debris piles from wet-loose point releases. Runnels in the snow surface were almost completely covered up in the upper elevations by the new snow and wind which gave way to some decent riding conditions. The cool down had frozen the upper few inches before covering it up with a fresh 2-5 inch layer of powder. Below the crust the snow is still saturated and soggy.
Above: Loose snow slides above Burnside Lake
Above: Large cornice break on North aspect into the Box drainage...hard to see
|0600 temperature:||20 deg. F.|
|Max. temperature in the last 24 hours:||33 deg. F.|
|Average wind direction during the last 24 hours:||N|
|Average wind speed during the last 24 hours:||10 mph|
|Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours:||25 mph|
|New snowfall in the last 24 hours:||NA inches|
|Total snow depth:||NA inches|
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Boise ID
327 AM MDT Thu Mar 23 2017
.SHORT TERM...Pacific frontal system along 130W at 2 AM MDT will
reach the coast late today, and move across Oregon tonight and
Friday morning, and into our CWA Friday. System will bring
widespread rain with 0.25" to 0.50" expected in Baker County,
northern parts of Harney and Malheur Counties, and Idaho north of
the Snake Basin. Lesser amounts are expected to the south, with
least amounts along the Nevada border. Relatively tight west-east
surface pressure gradient across southern Idaho today will produce
west winds 20 to 30 mph in and near the Magic Valley. Winds will
become east or southeast in all areas tonight ahead of the
approaching Pacific frontal system. Winds Friday will continue
light to moderate southeast, but will shift to southwest in eastern
Oregon behind the front. No thunderstorms are expected as models
keep lifted index above +2 through Friday. Thermal contrast across
the front looks weak with only 2-5 degrees cooling behind it.
.LONG TERM...Friday night through Thursday...Active storm track will
remain focused on the Pac NW through next week. This will bring a
weather system through the region every couple of days with brief
breaks in between. Friday night and Saturday will see an upper
trough exiting eastward with precipitation tapering off in valleys
on Saturday and across the mountains by Saturday night. The next
trough arrives late Sunday, exiting eastward Monday night. This is
followed by a third storm for late Wed/Thur. Each system will bring
moderate liquid/snow accumulations across higher terrain, while
lower elevations will see lighter amounts and less continuous
precipitation. Snow levels will fluctuate between 4500 and 6500 feet
MSL with passage of each system. Temperatures will be at or slightly
below normal through the period.
This avalanche advisory is provided through a partnership between the Payette National Forest and the Payette Avalanche Center. This advisory covers the West Central Mountains between Hard Butte on the north and Council Mountain on the south. This advisory applies only to backcountry areas outside established ski area boundaries. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This advisory expires at midnight on the posted day unless otherwise noted. The information in this advisory is provided by the USDA Forest Service who is solely responsible for its content.