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Tue. 14.01.2020
update 13.01.20 18:02 (Michael Butschek - translated by Jeffrey McCabe)

Only very isolated danger zones



Favourable avalanche situation, but snow depths and snow quality are deteriorating. Isolated glide-snow avalanches are possible in extremely steep grassy and rocky terrain in all aspects. There are risks of taking a fall caused by fresh, thin snowdrift patches in Tauern zone.

Avalanche Danger

Avalanche danger is LOW.

Avalanche prone locations for dry slab releases exist only in very isolated cases. By large additional loading in extremely steep terrain in transition zones from shallow to deeper snow, particularly on north and east-facing slopes, triggerings are possible. The fresh, thin patches of snowdrift in the Tauern can be easily triggered, create a danger of forcing a fall.

Naturally triggered avalanches: glide-snow fractures (small-to-medium sized) in extremely steep (more than 40 degrees) grass-covered terrain or over rocky slabs are possible particularly at 1800-2500 m.

Snow Layering

The snow cover has settled quite well and is compact. However, for a few hours on Monday in the Tauern zone, southerly foehn winds generated and deposited small, shallow snowdrifts. Melt-freeze encrusted surfaces (breakable to icy) predominate. On steep sunny slopes the snow transforms to corn snow. There are no indications of pronounced weak layers inside the snowpack which would tend towards fracture propagation. Generally the borderline between snowpack and the ground is the only weak layer.

Alpine Weather Forecast (ZAMG Salzburg)

On Tuesday, outstanding visibility, very sunny accompanied by a few thin cirrus clouds high above summit level which could impede sunshine somewhat. At 2000 m: 2 degrees; at 3000 m: -3 degrees. Light to moderate winds.
On Wednesday, persistent sunshine, ongoingly quite mild. Temperatures at 2000 m will be between 2 and 6 degrees; at 3000 m: 2 degrees. Along the Tauern, southerly foehn wind will intensify somewhat (40-60 km/hr on the Main Alpine Ridge and in the classic foehn lanes) making subjective tempertures seem lower.

Short Term Development

As a result of rising southerly winds on Wednesday in the Tauern, fresh, shallow snowdrifts will be generated. Higher temperatures in wind-protected zones. Thus, in sun-drenched steep terrain, the risk of small wet-snow loosely-packed avalanches will increase. Nonetheless, conditions will remain favourable overall.

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