The Flathead Avanace Center has issued a high alert for upper and middle elevations across the Whitefish, Swan, and Flathead ranges, with considerable risk even at lower elevations, the result of 1-3 feet of new snow that has blanketed the region, rain on that snow, and then warming temperatures creating precipitous conditions.
In their assessment of current conditions, they explain:
“Stay off of and out from underneath slopes 30 degrees or steeper. On Monday, Mark found touchy avalanche conditions with soft slabs failing a foot thick and propagating up to 40 feet wide. Today, expect slabs to be reactive to the weight of a person or machine and large enough to bury, injure, and kill a person. Slabs will be thicker and more dangerous the higher you climb, and on the leeward side of ridges and gullies where winds drifted new snow. Any triggered slabs of dry snow may run surprisingly far distances and be more destructive if they entrain the wet snow below.”
The center says that by Wednesday or Thursday, conditions should improve considerably and the risk should go way down.
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