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Avalanche Forecast for 2020-12-08 05:30

  • EXPIRED ON December 9, 2020 @ 5:30 am
    Published on December 8, 2020 @ 5:30 am
  • Issued by Aaron Beverly - Mount Shasta Avalanche Center

Avalanche danger is LOW. Avalanches are very unlikely. A thin, icy snowpack, encasing numerous rocks, makes climbing Mount Shasta ill-advised. Wetter weather is coming Friday night and should continue into next 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 ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Very Likely

Normal caution is advised. Use safe travel techniques and bring your beacon, shovel and probe and know how to use them. Its a great time to practice, review your skills, and get your backcountry pack honed.

Avalanches are very unlikely, if not impossible, due to a thin snowpack. Finding consistent snow is challenging. Watch out for obstacles above and below the snow surface. They are numerous.

Forecast Discussion

Climbing Mount Shasta is not advised at this time. The snowpack is thin, firm, and icy. A fall would lead to a long ride into a mine field of rocks. Better wait until more snow arrives or even next spring when conditions are ideal.

Christmas Tree cutting is not allowed around Bunny Flat. Below is the map showing permissible areas for cutting. Please be informed.

Recent Observations

At 7,600 ft on Mount Shasta, you'll find around a 12 inches of snow. Temperatures have been above freezing and the snow we got from our November 17th storm continues to melt away. The last 24 hours saw about 2 inches of settlement. There are more boulders than snow above treeline though some creative skiers have found paths through the maze. Ski gently as rocks lurk beneath the surface.

Similar conditions exist out at Ash Creek Butte (ACB) with sheltered areas holding around 14 inches. Once you find continuous snow, you'll find the road out to the bowl severely rutted by 4x4ers. It's not worth bringing your snowmobile for. Some significant progress has been made in getting the ACB weather stations back online. We're hoping to get these operational in the next couple of weeks.

There is no usable snowpack at Castle Lake and the lake is not frozen.

Weather and Current Conditions

Weather Summary

Today expect another warm, sunny day. A weak front will bring cooler temperatures late this afternoon. High pressure continues to have a major impact on our weather pattern, though it may swing some precipitation in over the weekend. We may see a few inches of snow at higher elevations by Saturday night. Next week is looking promising for more precipitation, though it is too early to tell if it will be game changing.

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) 29 27 56 36.5 2 N
Sand Flat (6750 ft) 34 24 48 37 8 0 0 1
Ski Bowl (7600 ft) 48 37.5 48 45.5 12.2 0 0 1.8
Gray Butte (8000 ft) 50.5 39 50.5 45 17 49 E
Castle Lake (5870 ft) 46.5 33 49 43.5 2.9 0 1.3
Mount Eddy (6509 ft) 40.5 34 48.5 41.5 2 4 WSW 8.3 0 2.1
Ash Creek Bowl (7250 ft)
Ash Creek Ridge (7895 ft)

Two Day Mountain Weather Forecast

Produced in partnership with the Medford NWS

For 7000 ft to 9000 ft
(4 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
Tuesday Night
(10 p.m. to 4 a.m.)
(4 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
Weather Sunny. Partly Cloudy. Mostly Sunny
Temperature (°F) 50 32 37
Wind (mi/hr) East 0-5 West 0-5 North 5-10
Precipitation SWE / Snowfall (in) 0.00 / 0 0.00 / 0 0.00 / 0
For 9000 ft to 11000 ft
  Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather Sunny with decreasing temperatures. Partly cloudy. Breezy. Mostly sunny. Breezy.
Temperature (°F) 43 30 30
Wind (mi/hr) Southeast 5-10 Southwest 10-15 West 15-20
Precipitation SWE / Snowfall (in) 0.00 / 0 0.00 / 0 0.00 / 0

Season Precipitation for Mount Shasta City

Period Measured (in) Normal (in) Percent of Normal (%)
From Oct 1, 2023 (the wet season) 1.70 8.97 19
Month to Date (since Jun 1, 2024) T 1.61 0
Year to Date (since Jan 1, 2024) 14.61 36.97 40


This forecast 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 forecast expires 24 hours after the posted time unless otherwise noted.