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Thu. 21.02.2019
update today 7:18 (Michael Butschek - translated by Jeffrey McCabe)

Gliding snow, increasing high altitude drifts



Naturally triggering glide-snow avalanches over steep, grassy slopes below 2600 are still a threat at any time. Increasing snowdrifts in high altitude ridgeline terrain on east and south-facing slopes. Settled powder where no wind impact on north-facing slopes. Few danger spots, in transitions at high and high alpine altitudes. Inneralpine sunny slopes have melt-freeze, later corn snow. Wet-snow avalanches where solar impact is high.

Avalanche Danger

Danger of avalanches is MODERATE all day long, the main problem stems from naturally triggered glide-snow avalanches which can release in steep, grass-covered terrain at any time below 2600 m, and sometimes grow to large size (usually not in backcountry ski terrain).
Where the sun has an impact, small-to-medium wet-snow avalanches can trigger this afternoon, either naturally and from skiers.
Above 2000 m, increasing avalanche prone locations during the day: the drifts can easily be triggered, initially small, larger later on. Especially steep ridgeline terrain in extended east and south-facing terrain. Elsewhere, releases are most likely in very steep transitions where the snow is shallow on high altitude north-facing slopes, generally by large additional loading (falling, stamping, etc.).

Snow Layering

Clouds reduced outgoing radiation during the night, resulting in various crusts in the morning on sunny slopes, some breakable, all softening during the day. Wind-exposed terrain has hardened surfaces, elsewhere settled powder. Weak layers of thin faceted crystals or covered hoar in the old snow are seldom, triggerable generally by large additional loading. At high altitudes near ridgelines, fresh snowdrifts are forming which are prone to triggering. The deep snowpack is gliding over extremely steep, grass-covered slopes, new glide cracks are opening.

Alpine Weather Forecast (ZAMG Salzburg)

Adequate touring weather today, variable visibility, some sunny intervals, only the highest peaks hidden in fog. Above 2200 m a moderate wind will be blowing, stronger in Lungau and on the Main Alpine Ridge (50 km/hr). At 2000 m: -2 degrees; at 3000 m: -4 degrees.
Tomorrow, Friday, fresh snow and poor visibility, rain at low altitude. The snowfall will come in repeated bouts, 15-30 cm of fresh snow expected by evening above 1400 m, much less in the Nockberge. The snowfall level will fluctuate between 1100 and 1200 m. Winds will be strong above the treeline, on the Main Alpine Ridge and in the Lungau reaching 60-80 km/hr. At 2000 m: -4 degrees; at 3000 m: -9 degrees.

Short Term Development

Strong winds and fresh snow, rainfall at low altitudes, will increase avalanche danger on Friday to CONSIDERABLE in places. Depending on altitude, the problem will be either gliding snow, wet snow or snowdrifts.

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