Avalanche Advisory for Tuesday, April 15, 2014

This advisory expires at 12:00 midnight.

Tuckerman Ravine has Considerable avalanche danger. Natural avalanches are possible and human triggered avalanches are likely. Dangerous avalanche conditions will exist after rainfall begins. Careful snowpack assessment, cautious route finding and conservative decision making are essential.

Huntington Ravine is under a General Advisory. You will need to do your own snow stability assessments when traveling in avalanche terrain in Huntington. A danger of falling ice exists, and will persist until it all comes down.

AVALANCHE PROBLEM: Potentially heavy rain today will create the potential for Wet Slab avalanches. The largest of these would be most likely to occur in the Sluice, Lip and Center Bowl area if the larger water courses overflow their channels and run out over deeper slabs or ice lenses. The greatest chance of these types of avalanches will be later in the day after the rain has penetrated more deeply through the snow and melt runoff increases beyond it’s already high levels. Most other forecast areas will share this problem so if skiing in the rain is your thing, consider lift service today.

WEATHER: Rain should begin this morning and pickup in intensity into the afternoon. An inch of rain will fall before changing over to snow late tonight and in the wee hours of Wednesday. Temperatures, now standing at 42F will start to decline in the late afternoon and evening to around freezing at sundown and then down to around 10F by morning. 1-3″ snow may fall by morning. SW Wind will ramp up a bit from it’s current 45 mph or so as rain increases in intensity before slowing a bit later in the day. Overnight wind will shift to the NW and crank up to the 80-100 mph range by morning. Expect temperatures well below normal tomorrow.

SNOWPACK: Todays rain will be falling on an already rotten, unsupportive snowpack. Even packed trails will have the potential for postholing as water channels beneath the melting bonds between snow grains. All the warm weather has weakened the snowpack and encouraged the inevitable downhill creep of the snowpack. Smaller crevasses near rocks were opening over the past several days but were minor compared to what you could expect to see today. The main waterfall hole that opened yesterday in the Lip/Center Bowl area makes a crossing of the Tuckerman Ravine trail a dangerous proposition.

OTHER HAZARDS: Rain and more warm temperatures today continue to flood streams and undermine snow. Larger stream channels like the brook coming out of Tucks can be dangerous. Imagine falling into a treewell with water rushing through the bottom…..just as hard to get out of and with hypothermia and drowning a real possibility. To spice things up further, icefall potential will be on the rise today making Lunch Rocks an especially bad choice of places to hang out and enjoy the cold, wind driven rain.

Please Remember:

  • Safe travel in avalanche terrain requires training and experience. This advisory 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.
  • Anticipate a changing avalanche danger when actual weather differs from the higher summits forecast.
  • For more information contact the Forest Service Snow Rangers, the AMC at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, or the caretakers at Hermit Lake Shelters.
  • Posted 7:00 a.m. 4-15-2014. A new advisory will be issued tomorrow.

Frank Carus, Snow Ranger
USDA Forest Service
White Mountain National Forest
(603) 466-2713 TTY (603) 466-2856

2014-04-15 Print friendly