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Avalanche Advisory for 2018-04-03 07:01

  • EXPIRED ON April 4, 2018 @ 7:01 am
    Published on April 3, 2018 @ 7:01 am
  • Issued by Andrew Kiefer - Mt Shasta Avalanche Center

Although strong southwest winds will likely keep snow and ice firm and frozen today, continue to watch for wet loose instabilities and falling rime ice during periods of intense solar radiation. A potent storm series will bring a return to winter late in the week.

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 ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Very Likely
  • Size ?
    Very Large

Generally safe avalanche conditions exist in the backcountry. Both natural and human triggered avalanches are unlikely. Exercise NORMAL CAUTION and watch for isolated wet loose instabilities on steep southerly aspects.

  • Strong solar radiation and warm temperatures can cause wet loose avalanches. Travel when the snow surface is colder and stronger. Avoid crossing on or under very steep sunlit slopes with wet, unconsolidated snow surfaces. 
  • Small cornices exist on easterly aspects above treeline. They may weaken and fall as the warm and sunny spring weather continues. Avoid traveling on top of or below these formations.

Advisory Discussion

Spring conditions exist in the backcountry for now. The upper snowpack has gone through several melt-freeze cycles in the past week. Corn skiing and riding has been found with good timing. A potent storm series will begin Thursday bringing plenty of snow and rain. Expect conditions to change quickly throughout the advisory area and for the avalanche danger to rise by the weekend.

Recent Observations

Yesterday, strong northwest winds blew with gusts up to 70 mph at the Gray Butte weather station. Winds died down late afternoon and overnight and become variable in direction. Temperatures remained cool throughout the advisory area with highs in upper 30s and mid 40s. Snow surfaces are firm and icy at upper elevations, and a corn cycle has begun on southerly aspect below 9,000 ft. Wet loose activity has been very limited by high winds the last 2 days. A ride in the Ash Creek Butte area yesterday revealed good snow coverage above 6,500 ft with consistent snow depths of 4-6 ft. Below, the Tri-Forest Snowmobile area trails are getting thin and melting out quickly. The east side climbing routes on Mount Shasta have good coverage, but access is still limited by several miles of snow covered roads. Check out the observation below for the full report.

Weather and Current Conditions

Weather Summary

A weak ridge of high pressure will bring clear and dry conditions today. Highs will be in the mid 50s at 7,000 ft with sunshine in the morning and increasing clouds in the afternoon. Strong and gusty winds will blow out of the southwest. Low pressure will move into the area late tomorrow night bringing light precipitation. Very wet and windy weather will continue Thursday through Saturday with high snow levels.

24 Hour Weather Station Data @ 4:00 AM

Weather Station Temp (°F) Wind (mi/hr) Snow (in) Comments
Cur Min Max Avg Avg Max Gust Dir Depth New Water Equivalent Settlement
Mt. Shasta City (3540 ft) 25 25 53 41 5 NE
Sand Flat (6750 ft) station down
Ski Bowl (7600 ft) 30.5 28 38.5 33 74.5 0 0 1
Gray Butte (8000 ft) 32 28 36.5 32 10 70 NW
Castle Lake (5870 ft) station down
Mount Eddy (6509 ft) 26 24 36.5 29 3 15 WSW 41 0 0
Ash Creek Bowl (7250 ft) station down
Ash Creek Ridge (7895 ft) station down

Two Day Mountain Weather Forecast

Produced in partnership with the Medford NWS

For 7000 ft to 9000 ft
  Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather Mostly sunny Mostly cloudy Mostly cloudy
Temperature (°F) 48 33 48
Wind Direction SSW SW S
Wind Speed (mi/hr) 5-10 10-15 5-10
Expected Snowfall (in) 0 0 0
For 9000 ft to 11000 ft
  Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather Mostly sunny and windy Mostly cloudy and windy Mostly cloudy and windy
Temperature (°F) 26 23 25
Wind Direction W NW SW
Wind Speed (mi/hr) 20-30 30-40 20-30
Expected Snowfall (in) 0 0 0

Season Precipitation for Mount Shasta City

Period Measured (in) Normal (in) Percent of Normal (%)
From Oct 1, 2017 (the wet season) 15.95 35.69 45
Month to Date (since Oct 1, 2018) 0.00 0.23 0
Year to Date (since Jan 1, 2018) 10.12 20.48 49


This advisory does not apply to Ski Areas or Highways and is for the Mount Shasta, Castle Lake and Mount 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.