update today 7:24 (Bernhard Niedermoser - translated by Jeffrey McCabe)
Avoid drifted lee slopes. Elsewhere often favourable conditions.
Wherever the wind has been transporting steadily there is a snowdrift problem, i.e. very steep NW-N-E-SW lee slopes above 1800 m near ridgelines. MODERATE danger; in foehn lanes and parts of the Northern Alps CONSIDERABLE danger. Another persistent threat: sporadic gliding avalanches on extremely steep slopes.
Avalanche danger depends exclusively on wind impact. In wind-protected zones danger is LOW (1) and the powder lies loose on the hard snow base. In wind-exposed areas the danger of slab avalanches is MODERATE (2); in the Hohe Tauern and Northern Alps, due to wide ranging snowdrift accumulations, danger is often CONSIDERABLE (3).
SNOWDRIFTS: Yesterday the fresh snow from Tues/Wed (10-25 cm) was heavily transported in exposed zones, some of it only superficially, some of it quite deeply, e.g. in foehn lanes and high alpine regions. On sunny slopes the snow settled. High alpine terrain is radically windblown, particularly in the foehn lanes of the Tauern. Last night and in the early morning hours today, the fresh snow was again transported. On top of that, 10 to 20 cm of fresh snow is anticipated, without wind impact.
Alpine Weather Forecast (ZAMG Salzburg)
Visibility today is limited, due to heavy cloud and snow showers. The showers will soon come to an end. This afternoon, especially in the Northern Alps and in Upper Pinzgau the skies could brighten somewhat. Near the Tauern and in the Lungau, heavy cloud will persist accompanied by a bit of snowfall. FRESH SNOW: 10 to 20 cm. A strong S/W wind will be blowing to start with (40-60 km/hr), but will rapidly slacken off. Temperature at 2000 m: -7 degrees; at 3000 m: -13 degrees.
Short Term Development
On Saturday, the danger of slab avalanches will be predominantly MODERATE (2). Continue to avoid steep, freshly drifted zones.