Snowpack and Avalanche Information for Monday, June 1, 2020

This information was published 06/01/2020 at 7:59 AM.


This is an archived avalanche forecast.

The Bottom Line

Winter conditions returned over the weekend with below freezing temperatures and snow showers at upper elevations. Sliding fall conditions exist on refrozen snow Monday at elevations above 4000’ and a chance for snow showers above 5000’. Partly sunny skies well into Tuesday allow for good visibility, aiding your ability to identify hazards and the opportunity to avoid them. More unsettled weather returns for mid-week with warmer temperatures and rain. 

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.

On Sunday May 17, 5 people were caught as they attempted to ski in Tuckerman Ravine and each were issued a Federal Citation and fined. Please remember that Tuckerman Ravine, Huntington Ravine, the Gulf of Slides and the East Snowfields remain closed.

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

The summit of Mount Washington dropped below 32F early Sunday morning, after 11 continuous days above freezing. The higher summits will only reach the upper 20s on Monday, with a mix of sun and clouds, including the chance for snow showers.  Wind will be from the NW at around 30mph. Tuesday brings increasing clouds and a chance for rain, which will continue through Thursday morning. 

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.  

Forecast Discussion

After a week of very warm weather, the remaining snowpack is fully consolidated and settled. Observations Monday morning show that the 0.6″ of snow recorded Sunday on the summit will be hard to find. Forecast snow showers on Monday may contribute enough new snow to obscure some of the glide crack hazards, but it’s unlikely as the freeze line progresses up the mountain and the meager amount of snow possible. Skiers will do well today by looking for sunny slopes warming the snow surface, the upper portions of shady slopes may remain frozen.

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 06/01/2020 at 7:59 AM.

Jeff Fongemie
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest