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Avalanche Advisory for 2017-03-09 06:26:04

  • EXPIRED ON March 10, 2017 @ 6:26 am
    Published on March 9, 2017 @ 6:26 am
  • Issued by Nick Meyers - Shasta-Trinity National Forest

LOW avalanche danger exists at all elevations and normal caution is advised today. Ski and ride one at a time in avalanche terrain and don't group up in avalanche run out zones. LOW avalanche danger is not your cue to throw caution to the wind. LOW danger means that avalanches are unlikely, but not impossible. Always use safe travel practices.





Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

Avalanche Problem 1: Normal Caution

  • Character ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Very Likely
  • Size ?
    Very Large

Overall, normal caution is advised today. Daytime warming may allow for some minor loose wet instabilities. These will take on the form of small point releases or roller balls. The wind slab problem could linger in isolated areas but slabs will be stubborn and unlikely to trigger. Terrain with potential unstable wind slabs will require a slope by slope evaluation. Signs of instability will likely be minimal prior to a possible avalanche event. 

Advisory Discussion

A warming trend over the past two days has considerably reduced both the avalanche danger and good powder skiing. Moist snow and variable conditions will greet backcountry riders today.

Recent Observations

Temperatures continue to warm. This warming has really done a number on our snowpack, consolidating it 3-6 inches across the land. Visibility was a bit difficult yesterday but observations were made both at Castle Lake and on Mt Shasta. Heavy, moist snow is the soup de jour for just about all areas within the forecast area. Some minor roller balls were observed off Middle Peak at Castle Lake. On a tour up Green Butte Ridge on Mt Shasta, up to 20 inches of soft, wet snow was observed. Some minor roller ball action was also seen up to 9,500 feet on E-SE-S aspects. Winds were moderate to strong but the heavy, wet nature of the snow did not provide any loose snow available for transport. The upper mountain looked scoured and likely firm.  

Castle Lake area, 3.8.17, Photo: Meyers





Weather and Current Conditions

Weather Summary

We are looking at a gradual clearing of the weather for the remainder of the work week. Today will bring partly to mostly cloudy skies and a slight chance of a sprinkle or two. Tonight brings the same however tomorrow we should see continued warming temperatures and clearing skies. Snow levels for the trace amount of precipitation we may receive will hover around 8,700 feet today, 8,200 feet tonight and 7,300 feet tomorrow.  Expect the wind to remain calm at lower elevations below treeline. Above treeline and in exposed areas on the upper mountain, west/northwest flow prevails with speeds of 20-30 mph and gusts higher. 


In Mt Shasta City at 0500, we have a current temperature of 40 F.

On Mt Shasta (South Side) in the last 24 hours...

Sand Flat - 6750 ft, the current temperture is 37 degrees F.  Temperatures have ranged from 29 F to 40 F.  Snow on the ground totals 117 inches with no new snow and 3 inches of settlement.

Old Ski Bowl - 7,600ft. the current temperture is 38 degrees F.  Temperatures have ranged from 28 F to 42 F.  Snow on the ground totals 193 inches with no new snow and 5 inches of settlement.

Gray Butte - 8,000 feet, the current temperature is 35 degrees F. Temperatures have ranged from 27 F to 36 F.  Winds have averaged 20 mph with gusts to 42 out of the west/northwest.

Mt Eddy Range (West side of Interstate-5)... 

Castle Lake - 5,800 feet, the current temperature is 36 degrees F. Temperatures have ranged from 30 F to 53 F. Snow on the ground totals 117 inches with no new snow and 3 inches of settlement.

Mt Eddy - 6,500 feet, the current temperature is 40 degrees F. Temperatures have ranged from 29 F to 44 F. Snow on the ground measures 106 inches with no new snow and 6 inches of settlement. Winds have been variable, averaging 1-2 mph with gusts to 10 mph.

THIS SEASON PRECIPITATION for MT SHASTA CITY: Since October 1st (the wet season), we have received 43.67 inches of water, normal is 31.46 inches, putting us at 138% of normal.  For the month of March, we have received .36 inches of water, normal is 1.96 inches, which is 18% of normal. And finally for the year of 2017, we received 22.51 inches of water, normal is 16.25 inches, putting us at 138% of normal.

Always check the weather before you attempt to climb Mt Shasta. Further, monitor the weather as you climb. Becoming caught on the mountain in any type of weather can compromise life and limb. Be prepared.

CURRENT CONDITIONS at Bunny Flat (6950 ft)
0600 temperature: 37
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 40
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: West/Northwest
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 15-20 mi/hr
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 42 (Gray Butte) mi/hr
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 0 inches
Total snow depth: 117 inches

Two Day Mountain Weather Forecast

Produced in partnership with the Medford NWS

For 7000 ft to 9000 ft
  Thursday Thursday Night Friday
Weather Mostly cloudy with a 30% chance of rain. Precipitation amounts will be minimal. Cloudy, chance of rain Warming, mostly cloudy in the morning, gradually clearing to partly cloudy in the afternoon.
Temperature (°F) 49 36 55
Wind Direction Southwest Southwest West
Wind Speed (mi/hr) 5-10mph 5-10mph 5-10mph
Expected Snowfall (in) 0 0 0
For 9000 ft to 11000 ft
  Thursday Thursday Night Friday
Weather A 30 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, Windy. A chance of snow before 10pm, then a chance of snow showers, mainly between 10pm and 4am. Cloudy. Windy. A 20 percent chance of snow showers before 10am. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny. Windy.
Temperature (°F) 32 28 30
Wind Direction West West West
Wind Speed (mi/hr) 25-30 mph 30-35 mph 25-30 mph
Expected Snowfall (in) 0-1 0-1 0


This advisory does not apply to Ski Areas or Highways and is for the Mt. Shasta, Castle Lake and Mt. Eddy backcountry. Use this information for guidance only. You may find different conditions in the backcountry and should travel accordingly. This advisory expires on midnight of the date it was posted unless otherwise noted.