update 14.01.20 17:56 (Michael Butschek - translated by Jeffrey McCabe)
Rising temperatures plus foehn
Along the Tauern, fresh, generally shallow but trigger-sensitive snowdrift accumulations due to southerly foehn wind. Danger zones near ridgelines, behind abrupt changes in the terrain, in gullies, particularly above the treeline. During the daytime, a moistening snowpack of deteriorating firmness. Wet loose-snow avalanches are possible in sun-drenched steep terrain. Furthermore, isolated guide-snow avalanches in extremely steep grassy terrain and over rock slabs in all aspects.
Initially avalanche danger will be LOW, then increase during the day to MODERATE in the Tauern zone.
The predominantly well settled and compact snowpack forfeits its firmness during the daytime due to the mild temperatures amidst intense solar radiation. Furthermore, southerly foehn winds in the Tauern zone are generating shallow snowdrift accumulations, as on Monday. Raw, melt-freeze encrusted surfaces (breakable-to-icy) dominate, on steep sunny slopes the snow softens on the surface during the course of the day. The tendency towards fracture propagation is low; the fresh snowdrift accumulations are more prone to triggering. Otherwise, the borderline between the warm ground and the snowpack is the only weak layer.
Alpine Weather Forecast (ZAMG Salzburg)
On Wednesday it will be ongoingly sunny and still milder than in recent days. Temperatures at 2000 m will be 2 to 8 degrees; at 3000 m, 2 degrees. Along the Tauern, southerly foehn wind will intensify, reaching 40-60 km/hr directly on the Main Alpine Ridge and in the classic foehn lanes.
Short Term Development
On Thursday, wet loose-snow avalanches are expected to diminish due to the lower temperatures. Caution is urged towards the easily recognized snowdrift accumulations in the Tauern zone. Conditions will continue to be predominantly favourable.