Snowpack and Avalanche Information for Friday, June 5, 2020

This information was published 06/05/2020 at 9:33 AM.


This is an archived avalanche forecast.

The Bottom Line

The possibility for rain and thunderstorms through Saturday night, high temperatures in the 50sF, and West wind 40-50mph could make travel above treeline a miserable if not dangerous experience for the unprepared. Bring warm layers and rain gear to be safe.  

Clearing late Saturday night brings a more stable weather pattern into next week with mostly sunny skies and temperatures around 50F.

As the snowpack continues to melt, moats and melt holes will increase in size and areas of undermined snow will become more widespread. This is more commonly seen at the edges of rock buttresses and where meltwater runs beneath the snow surface. 

Keep the following hazards in mind as you venture into the backcountry:

Above treeline, much of the snow has melted. Please limit walking to durable surfaces like rocks or snow and ice to preserve the delicate and slow growing plant communities in the alpine.

MWAC has moved to a Snowpack and Avalanche Information bulletin (known in prior years as a General Bulletin) until the end of the season. Snowpack and Avalanche Information is issued when unstable snow may exist within our forecast areas but after 5-scale avalanche forecasts have stopped. Please remember that avalanches can and do occur after 5-scale avalanche forecasts have ceased! 

On March 30th, the USFS MWAC took a tactical pause in forecasting operations. Since that time, forecasting and closure monitoring have continued, though forecasts were sent directly to local mountain rescue organizations only.  As the public continues to recreate and winter conditions persist in the mountains, it is apparent that current snowpack and avalanche information could be helpful in reducing risks. 

Please realize that volunteer rescue resources are currently limited due to concerns about community spread of the coronavirus. 

Mountain Weather

Unstable, warm moist air brings the chance for rain and thunderstorms to the Presidential Range Friday and Saturday. Overall, the amount of forecast precipitation looks to be rather low, rising somewhat in the afternoon both days as the sun warms the surface air and increasing the chance for thunderstorms at that time. 

Plan accordingly for these changes by reading the weather forecast before you head out (MWObs Higher Summits and NWS Hourly forecast). 

One tool to help reduce the chance for unwelcome surprises is the hourly weather information produced by MWObs summit staff. The NWS displays the hourly data going back 7 days here.  

Additional Information

The alpine environment of the Presidential Range is home to plants that exist nowhere else in the world, in particular the area known as Monroe Flats. Bushwhacking from Lakes of the Clouds Hut to ski in Oakes Gulf takes you directly through the only non-transplanted home of Robbins Cinquefoil, a plant which only recently made it off the Endangered Species List. Please stick to walking on durable surfaces like rocks, snow and ice or established trails when walking anywhere above treeline.

Please Remember:

Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This forecast is just one tool to help you make your own decisions in avalanche terrain. You control your own risk by choosing where, when, and how you travel.

Avalanche danger may change when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.

For more information contact the US Forest Service Snow Rangers, AMC visitor services staff at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters or seasonally at the Harvard Cabin (generally December 1 through March 31). The Mount Washington Ski Patrol is also available on spring weekends.

Posted 06/05/2020 at 9:33 AM.

Jeff Fongemie
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest