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Avalanche bulletin for Monday, 17 February 2020

A generally favourable avalanche situation will prevail. Wind slabs require caution

Edition: Mo. 17.02., 08:00 Next update: Mo. 17.02., 17:00 Validity

Avalanche bulletin for Monday, 17 February 2020

A generally favourable avalanche situation will prevail. Wind slabs require caution

Edition Su. 16.02., 17:00 Next update Mo. 17.02., 18:00 Validity

Avalanche bulletin for Monday, 17 February 2020

A generally favourable avalanche situation will prevail. Wind slabs require caution

Edition Mo. 17.02., 08:00 Next update Mo. 17.02., 17:00 Validity

Avalanche bulletin for Monday, 17 February 2020

A generally favourable avalanche situation will prevail. Wind slabs require caution

Edition Mo. 17.02., 08:00 Next update Mo. 17.02., 17:00 Validity

 
Level 1, low

Wet avalanches

As a consequence of the rain moist snow slides are possible. Mostly these are small. Restraint should be exercised because avalanches can sweep people along and give rise to falls.

Wind slabs

Wind slabs are in individual cases still prone to triggering at elevated altitudes. They are small. They are to be evaluated with care and prudence in particular in extreme terrain. Restraint should be exercised because avalanches can sweep people along and give rise to falls.

see also snowpack and weather

Level 1, low

No distinct avalanche problem

Older wind slabs are in individual cases still prone to triggering at elevated altitudes. They are small. They are to be evaluated with care and prudence in particular in extreme terrain. Restraint should be exercised because avalanches can sweep people along and give rise to falls.

see also snowpack and weather

Level 2, moderate

Old snow, wind slabs

Avalanche prone locations
In particular in southwest to north to southeast facing aspects above approximately 2200m.

In particular in southwest to north to southeast facing aspects above approximately 2200m.

Danger description

Avalanches can in isolated cases be released in the weakly bonded old snow. They can reach dangerously large size. These avalanche prone locations are rather rare and are difficult to recognise. Isolated whumpfing sounds can indicate the danger.
In addition rather small wind slabs formed. These can be released by a single winter sport participant.
Backcountry touring and other off-piste activities call for careful route selection.

see also snowpack and weather

Level 2, moderate

Wind slabs

Avalanche prone locations
In particular in west to north to southeast facing aspects above approximately 2000m.

In particular in west to north to southeast facing aspects above approximately 2000m.

Danger description

As a consequence of a strong southwesterly wind, further wind slabs will form in particular on north and east facing slopes. They are clearly recognisable to the trained eye. The rather small wind slabs are to be evaluated with care and prudence in steep terrain. Avalanches can in some places be released by a single winter sport participant and reach medium size. Backcountry touring and snowshoe hiking call for careful route selection.

Wet avalanches

As a consequence of the rain gliding avalanches and moist snow slides are possible.

see also snowpack and weather

Level 2, moderate

Wind slabs

Avalanche prone locations
In particular in west to north to southeast facing aspects above approximately 2200m.

In particular in west to north to southeast facing aspects above approximately 2200m.

Danger description

As a consequence of a sometimes strong southwesterly wind, sometimes avalanche prone wind slabs formed in particular on north and east facing slopes. They are clearly recognisable to the trained eye. They are to be evaluated with care and prudence in steep terrain. Avalanches can in some places be released by a single winter sport participant and reach medium size. Backcountry touring and other off-piste activities call for careful route selection.

see also snowpack and weather

Level 1, low

Wet avalanches

As a consequence of the rain moist snow slides are possible. Mostly these are small. Restraint should be exercised because avalanches can sweep people along and give rise to falls.

see also snowpack and weather

Level 2, moderate

Wind slabs

Avalanche prone locations
In particular in west to north to southeast facing aspects above approximately 2400m.

In particular in west to north to southeast facing aspects above approximately 2400m.

Danger description

The mostly small wind slabs are in some cases prone to triggering. They are clearly recognisable to the trained eye. They are to be evaluated with care and prudence in particular in very steep terrain. Apart from the danger of being buried, restraint should be exercised as well in view of the danger of avalanches sweeping people along and giving rise to falls.

see also snowpack and weather

A generally favourable avalanche situation will prevail. Wind slabs require caution
Edition: 16.2.2020, 17:00 / Next update: 17.2.2020, 18:00
Snowpack
As a result of strong-velocity southwesterly winds, some amounts of old snow are being transported at high altitudes in the northern regions. Relatively small-sized snowdrift accumulations are being generated which are prone to triggering.
As a consequence of solar radiation, higher temperatures and diffuse radiation conditions, the snowpack surface on sunny slopes has become moist up to nearly 3000 m, on shady slopes up to 2400 m. During the nocturnal hours on Sunday, a generally breakable crust is expected to form.
More deeply embedded inside the snowpack, particularly in the inneralpine regions of Grisons and to some extent also in the Valais, there are weak layers evident. These are, for the most part, layers of currently snow-covered, expansively metamorphosed (faceted) crystals which formed on the snowpack surface during the long period of fine weather in January; or else (somewhat higher up in the snowpack structure) weak layers in the vicinity of crusts. As stability tests and avalanches have demonstrated, avalanche releases are possible in these layers.
Observed weather on Sunday, 16.02.2020
Following a night of predominantly clear skies, high-altitude thin clouds moved in rapidly. Extended bright intervals followed in Ticino and in Grisons more than anywhere else.
Fresh snow
-
Temperature
At midday at 2000 m, between +1 °C in the Ticino and +7 °C in the remaining regions of Switzerland.
Wind
Winds were southerly to southwesterly,
  • on the northern Alpine Ridge from Chablais into the Urner Alps blowing at moderate to strong velocity;
  • in the other regions of Switzerland blowing generally at light to moderate strength.
Weather forecast through Monday, 17.02.2020
In the early morning hours it will be partly sunny in the Alps. During the course of the day, cloud cover will move in from the northwest. At midday in the Jura region, and in the afternoon over the entire northern flank of the Alps and in the Lower Valais, precipitation is expected to set in. The snowfall level will descend from 1800 m down to 1200 m.
Fresh snow
Between Monday midday and Monday evening in the western sector of the northern flank of the Alps, in the western and northern parts of Lower Valais and on the highest summits of the Jura region, a few centimetres of snowfall is anticipated.
Temperature
At midday at 2000 m,
  • in the northern regions, +3 °C, descending to -2 °C in the afternoon.
  • In the southern regions, -2 °C.
Wind
Winds will be southerly to southwesterly,
  • in the northern regions and in general at high altitudes, blowing at moderate to strong velocity;
  • in the other regions of Switzerland blowing at light to moderate strength.
Outlook through Wednesday, 19.02.2020
Tuesday
On Monday night in the northern regions and in the Valais, a small amount of snowfall is anticipated. The snowfall level is expected to descend to approximately 800 m. In the early morning hours in the eastern regions, the snowfall will come to an end. Otherwise it will be rather sunny in the northern regions, predominantly so in the Alps and in the southern regions.
Avalanche danger could increase somewhat in the northern regions and the Jura region as Tuesday approaches. Otherwise, avalanche danger levels are not expected to change significantly.
Wednesday
In the northern regions, a small amount of snowfall is anticipated above approximately 600 m. On the southern flank of the Alps it will be intermittently sunny. At high altitudes, a strong-velocity northwesterly wind will be blowing. As a result of fresh snow and winds, avalanche danger could increase somewhat on the northern flank of the Alps more than anywhere else. In the remaining regions of Switzerland, danger levels are not expected to change significantly.
 

Your observations can improve the quality of the avalanche bulletin. We are very grateful for any reports and photos received.

Please report your observations of avalanches or alarm signs, or your estimation of the avalanche danger, or simply send us a picture illustrating the current situation. Your report from the field will be considered along with all the other information when we assess the avalanche danger. It is impossible, however, to reflect the exact content of each individual report in the avalanche bulletin.

The best way to file a report is by completing the interactive form on this page. If your report is to be used in the 5 pm avalanche bulletin, it should be submitted before 2:30 pm if possible. Reports received later will normally be given consideration in the next assessment.

Other reporting options:

A generally favourable avalanche situation will prevail. Wind slabs require caution
Edition: 16.2.2020, 17:00 / Next update: 17.2.2020, 18:00
Snowpack
As a result of strong-velocity southwesterly winds, some amounts of old snow are being transported at high altitudes in the northern regions. Relatively small-sized snowdrift accumulations are being generated which are prone to triggering.
As a consequence of solar radiation, higher temperatures and diffuse radiation conditions, the snowpack surface on sunny slopes has become moist up to nearly 3000 m, on shady slopes up to 2400 m. During the nocturnal hours on Sunday, a generally breakable crust is expected to form.
More deeply embedded inside the snowpack, particularly in the inneralpine regions of Grisons and to some extent also in the Valais, there are weak layers evident. These are, for the most part, layers of currently snow-covered, expansively metamorphosed (faceted) crystals which formed on the snowpack surface during the long period of fine weather in January; or else (somewhat higher up in the snowpack structure) weak layers in the vicinity of crusts. As stability tests and avalanches have demonstrated, avalanche releases are possible in these layers.
Observed weather on Sunday, 16.02.2020
Following a night of predominantly clear skies, high-altitude thin clouds moved in rapidly. Extended bright intervals followed in Ticino and in Grisons more than anywhere else.
Fresh snow
-
Temperature
At midday at 2000 m, between +1 °C in the Ticino and +7 °C in the remaining regions of Switzerland.
Wind
Winds were southerly to southwesterly,
  • on the northern Alpine Ridge from Chablais into the Urner Alps blowing at moderate to strong velocity;
  • in the other regions of Switzerland blowing generally at light to moderate strength.
Weather forecast through Monday, 17.02.2020
In the early morning hours it will be partly sunny in the Alps. During the course of the day, cloud cover will move in from the northwest. At midday in the Jura region, and in the afternoon over the entire northern flank of the Alps and in the Lower Valais, precipitation is expected to set in. The snowfall level will descend from 1800 m down to 1200 m.
Fresh snow
Between Monday midday and Monday evening in the western sector of the northern flank of the Alps, in the western and northern parts of Lower Valais and on the highest summits of the Jura region, a few centimetres of snowfall is anticipated.
Temperature
At midday at 2000 m,
  • in the northern regions, +3 °C, descending to -2 °C in the afternoon.
  • In the southern regions, -2 °C.
Wind
Winds will be southerly to southwesterly,
  • in the northern regions and in general at high altitudes, blowing at moderate to strong velocity;
  • in the other regions of Switzerland blowing at light to moderate strength.
Outlook through Wednesday, 19.02.2020
Tuesday
On Monday night in the northern regions and in the Valais, a small amount of snowfall is anticipated. The snowfall level is expected to descend to approximately 800 m. In the early morning hours in the eastern regions, the snowfall will come to an end. Otherwise it will be rather sunny in the northern regions, predominantly so in the Alps and in the southern regions.
Avalanche danger could increase somewhat in the northern regions and the Jura region as Tuesday approaches. Otherwise, avalanche danger levels are not expected to change significantly.
Wednesday
In the northern regions, a small amount of snowfall is anticipated above approximately 600 m. On the southern flank of the Alps it will be intermittently sunny. At high altitudes, a strong-velocity northwesterly wind will be blowing. As a result of fresh snow and winds, avalanche danger could increase somewhat on the northern flank of the Alps more than anywhere else. In the remaining regions of Switzerland, danger levels are not expected to change significantly.

Latest avalanche bulletins

 

Have you observed alarm signs or an avalanche?

Your observations can improve the quality of the avalanche bulletin. We are very grateful for any reports and photos received.

interactive Button 'submit your observation'

 

More information about observations

Please report your observations of avalanches or alarm signs, or your estimation of the avalanche danger, or simply send us a picture illustrating the current situation. Your report from the field will be considered along with all the other information when we assess the avalanche danger. It is impossible, however, to reflect the exact content of each individual report in the avalanche bulletin.

The best way to file a report is by completing the interactive form on this page. If your report is to be used in the 5 pm avalanche bulletin, it should be submitted before 2:30 pm if possible. Reports received later will normally be given consideration in the next assessment.

Other reporting options:

 

No avalanche bulletins are being published at the moment. Nevertheless, you should still stay up to date with the avalanche situation in the mountains, especially if there is fresh snow.

However, the SLF will, by way of exception, also issue avalanche bulletins in the summer in case of heavy snowfall. There are different ways you can be notified when these bulletins based on the snow situation are published:

  • by push alert on SLF's free White Risk mobile app: appearing in four languages (English, German, French and Italian), this can be downloaded from iTunes App Store (for iPhones) or Google Play Store (for Android);
  • by mobile text message (SMS): please send an SMS with the message START SLF SOMMER to the phone number 9234 – you can cancel this service at any time by sending an SMS with the message STOP SLF SOMMER; cost: CHF 0.20 per SMS;
  • via an RSS feed which informs you whenever an avalanche bulletin is published.

Depending on the snow and avalanche situation, the regular publication of avalanche bulletin recommences in November/December.

Latest avalanche bulletins

 

Have you observed alarm signs or an avalanche?

Your observations can improve the quality of the avalanche bulletin. We are very grateful for any reports and photos received.

interactive Button 'submit your observation'

 

More information about observations

Please report your observations of avalanches or alarm signs, or your estimation of the avalanche danger, or simply send us a picture illustrating the current situation. Your report from the field will be considered along with all the other information when we assess the avalanche danger. It is impossible, however, to reflect the exact content of each individual report in the avalanche bulletin.

The best way to file a report is by completing the interactive form on this page. If your report is to be used in the 5 pm avalanche bulletin, it should be submitted before 2:30 pm if possible. Reports received later will normally be given consideration in the next assessment.

Other reporting options:

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Destructive avalanches and avalanche accidents

Recent and older avalanche accidents incl. statistical analysis.

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