Avalanche dangers drop, but conditions uncertain in region

Avalanche dangers look to be on a downward trend this weekend, though they are still be present with temperatures turning cooler again.

Avalanche dangers look to be on a downward trend this weekend, though they are still be present with the warm, wet and windy conditions turning cooler again.

“Over the last few days we’ve had steady rain up to about 2,200 meters,” said Joe Lammers, public avalanche forecaster at the Canadian Avalanche Centre. “Above that, many parts of the Columbia mountains and the South Rockies saw snowfall and strong southwest winds.”

Lammers said the rain has saturated and weakened the snowpack, especially at the treeline elevation and below.

“With forecast cooling this weekend a crust will likely develop where the rain soaked snow refreezes adding some strength to the snow pack,” he said, cautioning that the weight of the recent precipitation will add stress to weak layers that exist a meter below the surface.

Thought the forecast is calling for less dangerous conditions, there is a warning that the confidence rating for both the South Rockies and the Lizard Range and Flathead are poor due to low field observations.

“We’ve had very few observations in the last few days,” he said. “There is some uncertainty how the load of this new snow sitting on these deeper buried weak layers is going to behave.”

The forecast for the South Rockies ranges from Considerate in the alpine, Moderate in the treeline and Low below treeline for Friday. On Saturday, the forecast drops to Moderate in the alpine, Moderate in the treelike and Low below treeline.

He said that despite the danger levels dropping he would recommend taking it easy.

“Because of the uncertainty — reel it back — ease yourself back into terrain,” he said. “I would still take it easy. Especially in those upper elevations where that crust is unlikely to form, because you typically just have that new snow on top of surfaces that didn’t go through a melt-freeze process.”

The avalanche centre rates the danger on a scale of 1-4 with Low, Moderate, Considerate and High.

The Lizard Range forecast for Friday is Considerate in the alpine, Moderate in the treelike and Low below treeline. On Saturday the forecast drops to Moderate in the alpine, Low in the treelike and Low below treeline.

Meanwhile, on Friday the Purcells are forecast as Considerate in the alpine, Moderate in the treelike and below. On Saturday the alpine and treelike will be Moderate, while it drops to Low below treeline.

The confidence for that date is fair, though it warns that the timing of the incoming weather systems is uncertain.

For more information on conditions, head to www.avalanche.ca.


Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Cranbrook Arts has opened the doors of their  new gallery space to the public with their inaugural exhibit, Kootenay’s Best.
‘Kootenay’s Best’ opens Cranbrook Arts’ new gallery

This exhibit has been in the works for the past several months and features the work of more than 50 emerging and established artists from across the Kootenays

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read