BACKCOUNTRY AVALANCHE ADVISORY 

As of Wednesday, March 20, 2002

The most recent storm-cycle deposited 27cm of light density new snow in our region by the time the snowfall ended on Tuesday evening. Moderate South and Southwesterly winds accompanied the snowfall. Widespread storm-snow instabilities were observed during the cycle with soft slabs from 10 to 50cm in depth reacting easily to ski testing producing up to size 1.5 avalanches with widespread propagation.

Rapid settlement of the storm snow has aided in the tightening of the easy shears that were observed yesterday. At the time of this writing brisk Northeasterly winds have begun to redistribute any surface layers of snow that are available for transport. You can expect to encounter new wind-slab formations on some lee slopes, most noteably to the lee of any terrain features. This new wind-slab will likely not bond very well in any areas where a solid crust was residing on the surface prior to its arrival.

The backcountry avalanche danger is currently rated as Moderate in the areas adjacent to the Whistler/Blackcomb ski area boundaries. Conditions may vary and can change rapidly particularly with any sudden warming trends and exposure to the sun.

Daily updates for these areas are available at 604-938-7676, or at www.whistler-blackcomb.com/weather where there is also a link to the CAA public avalanche bulletin.

The cold pool of arctic air has once again sagged down from the Interior overnight, while a moist unstable air mass is rapidly approaching the coast. Temperatures plummeted to —25 ° C. at the mountain tops this morning. We can expect to feel the effects of both of these weather producers to varying degrees for the next several days. The long-range forecast is currently a bit of a crapshoot.

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