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Mon. 15.01.2018
update 15.01.18 7:18 (Bernhard Niedermoser - translated by Jeffrey McCabe)

One more time, little change. Mostly low avalanche danger.



The snowpack is cold and 95% hard. Older snowdrifts rarely triggerable above 2100 m, most easily at edges of drifts from a big impulse. More potential danger in the Hohe Tauern above 2300 m: small fresh and older ridgeline drifts. Steep E/N slopes require caution (MODERATE danger of slab avalanches). Gliding avalanches below 2100 m are now seldom.

Avalanche Danger

Avalanche danger is LOW, in the Hohe Tauern above 2300 m danger is MODERATE.

At drift-edges and in transitions from shallow to deep snow, the older drifts in a few places can be triggered by large additional loading as of about 2100 m, danger increases slightly with ascending altitude. More loose powder and fresher drifts are found in the Hohe Tauern above 2300 m. Steep ridgeline N/E facing slopes need to be evaluated critically.

The sporadic gliding avalanches are still a small threat on grassy 40° and steeper slopes below 2100 m. Avoid zones with glide cracks.

Snow Layering

Ahead of tomorrow’s snowfall, the snowpack is stable. Up to 2200 m the frozen layers dominate the upper third. Beneath the uppermost rain crusts (1400-2200 m) lies a potential fracture point for coming snowdrift masses: a faceted, soft, thin layer. Further up, firm drifts and hardened dry layers dominate the scene, exposed terrain is windblown. Most of the powder snow is in the Hohe Tauern, on north-facing slopes above 2000/2200 m, in some places as much as 20 cm, which will be transported today by westerly winds.

The snowpack is drawing moisture from the warm ground. Thus, the gliding snow masses are minimized.

Alpine Weather Forecast (ZAMG Salzburg)

Today, a bit of light snowfall here and there. Summits will stay hidden in fog until midday, only in Upper Pinzgau will the sun penetrate it. As of midday, sunshine everywhere. Westerly winds will be strong (40 km/hr), in exposed zones even stronger (70 km/hr). This afternoon, southerly foehn will arise. At 2000 m: -5 degrees; at 3000 m: -11 degrees.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, southerly foehn to start with, with sun windows in Pinzgau, Pongau and Lungau. As of midday, strong westerly winds will set in, temperatures will drop and snow showers will spread. Winds will become stormy in the afternoon. Fresh snow: 5-15 cm. At 2000 m: -3 degrees; at 3000 m: -10 degrees.

Short Term Development

Fresh snow and winds will change the situation on Tuesday afternoon. Snowdrifts will be deposited atop an unfavourable base, the danger of slab avalanches will increase.

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