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Avalanche Forecast for 2021-03-28 06:45

  • EXPIRED ON March 29, 2021 @ 6:45 am
    Published on March 28, 2021 @ 6:45 am
  • Issued by Ryan Sorenson - Mount Shasta Avalanche Center

Expect increasing winds this afternoon as small storm skips by us to the north. There is a slight chance for a skiff of snow after midnight. Avalanche danger is low. Spring sunshine will still cause snow surfaces to soften on solar aspects today. Small wet loose avalanches are unlikely but not impossible. Watch for fresh wind slab development on isolated features in steep terrain as we receive more wind. 

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

Expect stronger winds and slightly firmer conditions today. The spring sun will still soften snow surfaces on solar aspects. Keep an eye out for loose-wet avalanches in steep terrain this afternoon. If you see loose roller balls, pinwheels, or you sink up to your ankles in wet snow, it may be time to pick a different aspect or come back earlier next time. 

Winds are expected to increase throughout the day as a small cold front approaches areas north of us. Little to no accumulation is expected, and there is little available snow for transport, but continue to watch for fresh wind slab development on isolated features in steep terrain.

Forecast Discussion

Scoured icy surfaces with patches of exposed rocks present the hazard of a dangerous long sliding fall with many obstacles to hit. If attempting to climb, wear a helmet and use an ice axe and crampons. Know that self-arrest may be difficult to impossible on these steep icy slopes. Be willing to step back into safer terrain or rope up and place protection if conditions warrant.

Building clouds and low visibility is possible late this evening. Do not climb into a whiteout, carry navigation tools, and be prepared for winter-like conditions.

Recent Observations

Yesterday was full of sun, warm temperatures, and calm winds. A tour to lake Helen in Avalanche Gulch found variable conditions. The snow is still working itself into a melt-freeze state. Wind sculpted sastrugi, moist sticky chalk, supportable crusts, breakable crusts, fast snow, slow's all out there, but consistency is tough to find. Favorable sliding conditions do exist if you search hard and keep a keen eye for detail. 

  • In the past 24 hours, at 8,000 feet near treeline on Mt Shasta northwest winds have been steadily picking up out of the northwest averaging 8 mi/hr with gusts to 37 mi/hr. The current temperature at 0500 is 41 °F with a low of 40 °F and a high of 52.5 °F. 
  • At treeline, approximately 75-85 inches of snow is on the ground with less above treeline due to a windy winter. We apologize as our Old Ski Bowl weather station is down due to electrical issues.
  • At Castle lake, the current temperature at 0500 is 42.5 °F with a low of 34.5 °F and a high of 59 °F.
  • Coverage is best below and near treeline. The wind has scored out large patches of exposed rock on moraine tops, ridgelines, and most open slopes above treeline. 
  • More snow exists in gullies, depressions, and on leeward easterly slopes. 
  • Trailheads on the north and east sides of the mountain are still covered in snow.  For a full observation with photos click here

Weather and Current Conditions

Weather Summary

A quick-moving cold front will skip north of us after midnight. This will cool temperatures, cause some stronger northerly winds, and potentially bring light snow showers to the mountains tonight. Expect more high-pressure and sunny skies for the rest of the week. Models show a change to more active weather starting next weekend. 


24 Hour Weather Station Data @ 5:00 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) 33 32 71 50 2 N
Sand Flat (6750 ft) 32 26 55 39 Snow sensor down
Ski Bowl (7600 ft) Station Down
Gray Butte (8000 ft) 41 39.5 52.5 45 8 37 WNW
Castle Lake (5870 ft) 44 34.5 59 48 72.4 0 2.3
Mount Eddy (6509 ft) 39 36 54 44 3 5 WSW 70.4 0 2.6
Ash Creek Bowl (7250 ft) 37.5 18 37.5 25.5 73.7 0 0.7
Ash Creek Ridge (7895 ft) 40.5 33 49.5 42 5 17 WSW

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.)
Sunday Night
(10 p.m. to 4 a.m.)
(4 a.m. to 10 p.m.)
Weather Sunny, with increasing winds in the afternoon. Partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of rain and snow showers after midnight. Snow level near 6,000 feet. Colder, sunny.
Temperature (°F) 54 17 36
Wind (mi/hr) Southwest 10-15 Northwest 10-15 North 10-15
Precipitation SWE / Snowfall (in) 0.00 / 0 0.00 / 0-0.50 0.00 / 0
For 9000 ft to 11000 ft
  Sunday Sunday Night Monday
Weather Sunny and windy Partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow showers after midnight. Sunny and windy.
Temperature (°F) 32 23 25
Wind (mi/hr) West 25-30 West 45-50 North 25-30
Precipitation SWE / Snowfall (in) 0.00 / 0 0.00 / 0-0.50 0.00 / 0

Season Precipitation for Mount Shasta City

Period Measured (in) Normal (in) Percent of Normal (%)
From Oct 1, 2021 (the wet season) 17.15 34.93 49
Month to Date (since May 1, 2022) 3.57 5.43 66
Year to Date (since Jan 1, 2022) 13.57 19.72 69


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.