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Sat. 24.03.2018
update today 7:12 (Bernhard Niedermoser - translated by Jeffrey McCabe)

Beware snowdrift accumulations on Main Alpine Ridge and in Lungau



North of the Main Ridge, very favourable, only isolated danger zones from small snowdrift patches. Many more danger zones on Main Alpine Ridge and in the Lungau. Beware narrow foehn lanes! Avoid fresh snowdrifts! Beware gullies, edges, ridgeline lee slopes (N-E-S). Slight daytime danger cycle: small avalanches this afternoon in rocky, steep terrain.

Avalanche Danger

Avalanche danger at high altitdues of the Tauern and Nockberge is MODERATE (2), elsewhere mostly LOW (1). The recent northerly wind impact and limited foehn today are the danger factors today. Thus: heed signs of win.

SLAB AVALANCHES: Most danger zones are on the Main Ridge of the Tauern, southern sector and Nockberge. Beware gullies, ridgeline lee slopes and terrain protruberances (also distant from ridgelines, depending on wind impact). Triggering primarily by large additional loading, in the foehn lanes and in transition zones also by minimum additional loading. Older drifts on extremely steep north-facing slopes of the foehn lanes should be circumvented or skied carefully (maintaining distances, descending individually).

North of the Main Alpine Ridge the powder is more stable. Thin, small drifts (N-E-SW) near ridgelines create danger of forcing a fall when they release.

NATURALLY TRIGGERED AVALANCHES: Solar radiation and daytime warming will provide impulses for loose-snow avalanches during the day, especially relevant on extremely steep, rocky slopes below 2400 m (E-S-W). Gliding avalanches will release only in isolated cases.

Snow Layering

There was a bit of fresh snow registered again yesterday (2-10 cm) accompanied by northerly winds which transported the snow somewhat near ridgelines, on the Main Tauern Ridge and south of the Tauern in particular. On the Main Tauern Ridge the winds have now shifted, the foehn is transporting snow in the opposite direction. Likelihood of triggering varies highly. Intensive solar radiation has helped to consolidate the thin layers of fresh snow and drifted masses. The latest foehn-driven snowdrift accumulations are the least stable. Potential fracture points are the blanketed fresh snow on shady slopes at high altitudes; the layers of faceted crystals or hoar beneath old melt-freeze crusts above 2200 m.

Beneath the fresh snow and fresh drifts of last week (sink-in depths of 10-20 cm) the old snowpack is currently quite stable.

Alpine Weather Forecast (ZAMG Salzburg)

Today, unimpaired sunshine. Extremely good visibility above 2500 m. Winds usually light. Only in ridgeline terrain of the Tauern will the southerly foehn wind be stronger: 30-40 km/hr, in isolated foehn lanes as strong as 60 km/hr. Temperatures will rise at 2000 m from -8 to -1 degree; at 3000 m to -8 degrees.

Tomorrow, Sunday, sunny weather in the mountains. During the afternoon, some harmless convective cloud build-up. Winds will be generally light. At 2000 m: -3 degrees; at 3000 m: -8 degrees.

Short Term Development

Little change is expected on Sunday. Conditions are most favourable north of the Main Alpine Ridge. On the Ridge itself, a moderate snowdrift problem prevails.

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