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Mon. 11.02.2019
update 11.02.19 7:02 (Bernhard Niedermoser - translated by Jeffrey McCabe)

CONSIDERABLE snowdrift situation (3), isolated large glide-snow avalanches still possible



Nocturnal storms, plummeting temperatures, to be followed by 30-40 cm of fresh cold snow from W/NW. Accumulating fresh snow and snowdrifts deposited mostly in northern aspects atop unfavourable snow base (including hoar). Also in drifted southern aspects, bonding to warmer old snow is poor, slabs easily triggerable. Despite lower temperatures, isolated large glide-snow avalanches still possible.

Avalanche Danger

The situation has changed radically. Following some very favourable ski-touring days, possibilities are severely reduced. Avalanche danger will increase swiftly from early morning and reach CONSIDERABLE above the treeline (mostly above 1400-1600 m). Dry slab avalanches can be easily triggered there, even the weight of one skier is sufficient.

Avalanche prone locations are widespread. Especially treacherous: steep NW-NE-S facing slopes near to and distant from ridgelines, steep gullies and edges.

Lower temperatures are not affecting gliding snow activity. Also today, isolated glide-snow avalanches on very steep grassy slopes can trigger naturally and grow to large size.

Snow Layering

Last night there was 10-15 cm of fresh snow registered amid plummeting temperatures, an additional 30-40 cm of fresh snow will follow during the day today, accompanied by much wind. The fresh snow and drifts are relatively instable: in shady north-facing terrain deposited on top of old powder containing faceted crystals, on the foehn-induced drifts of Sunday, and in some places atop layers of hoar. Beneath the melt-freeze crusts on sunny slopes, weak layers can quickly develop due to the temperature disparities.

The old snowpack beneath has some weak layers in the uppermost section (50 cm) but these are currently unlikely to trigger. Beneath that, the snowpack is stable (except for the gliding snow at ground level).

Alpine Weather Forecast (ZAMG Salzburg)

Early this morning there was a brief intermission in the snowfall before continuing and persistent snowfall from the north will spread (30-40 cm by this evening), accompanied by strong W/NW winds (stormy above the timberline, 60-80 km/hr). At 2000 m: -10 degrees; at 3000 m: -16 degrees.

Also on Tuesday, the peaks will be hidden in dense cloud, intermittent snow showers will continue but bring far less fresh snow. All in all over 24 hours, an additional 10-15 cm of fresh snow is expected. The NW winds will be stormy: 60-70 km/hr widespread, on the Main Alpine Ridge and in Lungau up to 100 km/hr. Icy cold. At 2000 m: -12 degrees; at 3000 m: -19 degrees.

Short Term Development

Tuesday: CONSIDERABLE snowdrift situation will persist (3) above the treeline due to fresh snow and wind. Possibilities in outlying terrain will remain severely reduced. Isolated glide-snow avalanches still possible.

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