Monday, March 18, 2019

Avalanche warnings issued for Northwest back country areas

Avalanche Warnings have been issued for the ranges of NW British Columbia

If your Spring Break includes a bit of back country exploration, Avalanche Canada is offering up a bit of advice to guide you in your travels over the next few days.

With the rather sudden arrival of our spring temperatures and sun, the melt in the mountain ranges is on a bit of an accelerated pace at the moment, giving Avalanche Canada cause to issue a pair of Warnings for the Northwest region.

For the Northwest Coastal ranges, the confidence is high for both alpine and tree line areas, with considerable potential found in the Below tree line region. That owing to the significant warm up that is expected to take place through the week, with little in the way of overnight freezing expected during he warm spell.

Complicating things further later in the week will be a pair of days where periods of rain are anticipated on Thursday and Friday.

Much the same conditions are found for the Northwest Inland areas, where its anticipated that some of the regional mountains will begin to shed their winter coats as the warmer temperatures.

As part of a province wide warning in place across the province Avalanche Canada called for back country users to plan ahead and to be aware of their surroundings and to research the routes in the  snowpack areas.

"This is the first big warming to hit our snowpack, which is still fairly complex and winter-like. Any time the snowpack is hit with a big change, it tends to de-stabilize. The temperatures are forecast to increase substantially this week, with no nighttime cooling. This will weaken the snowpack on all aspects, increasing the possibility of large natural avalanches as well making it easier for the weight of a person to trigger deeper weak layers.” -- Senior Avalanche Forecaster Grant Helgeson

You can access more information on back country conditions from the Avalanche Canada website.

As well, Avalanche Canada offers up some advice on what to bring with you on your back country adventures.

The forecast for the Northwest can be found from the links listed below:

Prince Rupert


Smithers/Bulkley Valley

More notes on weather related items can be found from our Weather Archive page.

To view the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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