Issued on Thursday, February 01, 2018 6:05 PM
Light snowfall is to develop overnight, become moderate Friday morning, and continue through the afternoon and evening. Brief periods of heavy snowfall are possible. Temperatures are to be warmer with mountain highs in the upper twenties. West winds are to have twenty to thirty miles per hour averages. Four to six inches of snow is expected by nightfall. Less snow is expected in the valleys where temperatures could reach the mid thirties. The general avalanche hazard will be Moderate above 7500 feet and low below that elevation. Although the sensitivity has decreased, the chance continues for backcountry enthusiasts to trigger large avalanches involving persistent weak snow layers buried in December. As new snow accumulates throughout the day, the sensitivity of the persistent hazard will increase and new shallow wind slabs will develop along ridge crests and nearby cliff areas.
Upper level disturbances in northwest flow are to continue to deliver snow to the area over the weekend. Snowfall rates will be light to heavy as these systems move through. Temperatures will remain on the warmer side with mountain highs in the upper twenties. West winds are to be moderate to strong with averages over thirty miles per hour at times. The general avalanche hazard will increase if significant snowfall occurs. Similar to the last storm period and resulting avalanche cycle, the sensitivity of the deep slabs will increase and new wind slab hazards will develop throughout avalanche terrain.