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Report
Fri. 11.01.2019
update 11.01.19 7:39 (Bernhard Niedermoser - translated by Jeffrey McCabe)

Still tense: below 2000 m CONSIDERABLE, above 2000 m HIGH danger

Afternoon

Morning

In steep avalanche starting zones, especially where snowfall has been heavy, also due to solar radiation, naturally triggered loose/powder cloud or slab avalanches can be expected. In starting zones above 2200 m they can be large and even very large and endanger transportation routes. Below 1400 m, heavy glide-snow activity, avalanches can be large, endanger transportation routes. Treacherous ridgeline drifts on steep slopes in all aspects above 2000/2200 m - easily triggerable!

Avalanche Danger

In the areas where snowfall has been heaviest (Osterhorn range, Steinberge over Hochkönig to Gosaukamm) the main problem is natural triggering. As the snow settles today, numerous medium, some large, a few very large loose-snow powder cloud avalanches are possible above 2200 m. Exposed transportation routes and property can be placed at risk.

In the inneralpine grassy mountains and Tauern (less fresh snow there) the main problem is the instability of the drifted snow: at all altitudes above 2000 m in all aspects, it is easily triggered but difficult to spot since it is now covered by fresher snow. Immense caution and restraint are imperative. Naturally triggered loose-snow avalanche (small-to-medium) are possible here.

An increasing problem at the same time is the glide-snow avalanche activity below 1400 m. In areas where recent snowfall has been heavy, large-sized fractures are possible. In isolated cases, transportation routes and property can be put at risk.

In the Lungau Nockberge, the endangered zones are focused in the gullies.

Snow Layering

Over the last 48 hours (following the intermission on 7/8 January) there was 100 cm of fresh snow registered in the northern barrier-cloud regions, about 30-60 in Tauern and inneralpine regions, less in the Lungau. The fresh snow is very cold, the uppermost 30 cm is very light and loosely-packed. The snowdrifts are easily triggered, also in transitions to settled snow from the weekend fracture propagation is a threat. Inside the old snowpack at 2200-2800 m are potential weak layers which can be triggered as the weight of fresh snow accumulates on top of them.

As a result of sunshine and higher temperatures today, a major settling impulse will move the snowpack. This will stimulate the latest batch of fresh snow and reinforce avalanche activity.

Alpine Weather Forecast (ZAMG Salzburg)

Clouds will disperse today, a few hours of sunshine expected. Residual cloud will persist at the start, or fogbanks still linger on the flanks (longest in Niedere Tauern and northern flank of the Alps). Moderate winds, still transporting snow in ridgeline terrain. Temperatures rising during the daytime from -16 to -11 at 2000 m; from -20 to -13 at 3000 m. Light snowfall will set in during the evening.

Tomorrow, Saturday, mostly overcast, a bit of light snowfall is possible, bringing minor amounts. More sunshine in Lungau. Intensifying westerly winds, reaching 40-50 km/hr at high altitude. At 2000 m: -7 degrees; at 3000 m: -10 degrees.

Short Term Development

Natural avalanche danger will decrease a further notch on Sunday. The situation remains tense for all those in outlying terrain. On Sunday, significant increase in avalanche danger is expected.





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