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Avalanche bulletin through Thursday, 17 January 2019

Considerable avalanche danger will be encountered over a wide area

Edition: We. 16.01., 17:00 Next update: Th. 17.01., 08:00 Validity

Avalanche bulletin through Thursday, 17 January 2019

Considerable avalanche danger will be encountered over a wide area

Edition We. 16.01., 17:00 Next update Th. 17.01., 18:00 Validity

Avalanche bulletin through Thursday, 17 January 2019

Considerable avalanche danger will be encountered over a wide area

Edition We. 16.01., 17:00 Next update Th. 17.01., 08:00 Validity

Avalanche bulletin through Thursday, 17 January 2019

Considerable avalanche danger will be encountered over a wide area

Edition We. 16.01., 17:00 Next update Th. 17.01., 08:00 Validity

 
Level 3, considerable

Old snow, 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

Avalanches can in some cases be triggered in the old snowpack and reach dangerously large size. Caution is to be exercised in particular in areas where the snow cover is rather shallow. These avalanche prone locations are barely recognisable, even to the trained eye.
Fresh wind slabs are to be found especially at elevated altitudes. These are in some cases prone to triggering.
Backcountry touring and other off-piste activities call for experience in the assessment of avalanche danger. Defensive route selection is recommended.

Gliding avalanches

In particular on very steep sunny slopes gliding avalanches are to be expected below approximately 2200 m. Caution is to be exercised in areas with glide cracks.

see also snowpack and weather

Level 1, low

Fresh and somewhat older wind slabs are to be found in particular in gullies and bowls, and behind abrupt changes in the terrain. They are to be evaluated with care and prudence in particular in extremely steep terrain. Apart from the danger of being buried, restraint should be exercised in particular in view of the danger of avalanches sweeping people along and giving rise to falls.

see also snowpack and weather

Level 2, moderate

Wind slabs

Avalanche prone locations
In all aspects above approximately 2000m.

In all aspects above approximately 2000m.

Danger description

Fresh and somewhat older wind slabs are in some cases prone to triggering. 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. At elevated altitudes avalanche prone locations are more widespread and the danger is slightly greater.

see also snowpack and weather

Level 2, moderate

Fresh snow and snow drifts

Avalanche prone locations
In particular in southwest to north to southeast facing aspects above approximately 1600m.

In particular in southwest to north to southeast facing aspects above approximately 1600m.

Danger description

The fresh snow of the last few days is in individual cases still prone to triggering. These avalanche prone locations are rare but are barely recognisable. Caution is to be exercised in particular in areas where the snow cover is rather shallow as well as at transitions from a shallow to a deep snowpack, when entering gullies and bowls for example. Defensive route selection is appropriate.
As a consequence of westerly wind, wind slabs will form in particular in the vicinity of peaks. These are mostly small but can be released easily. They are to be avoided in steep terrain.

Gliding avalanches

In particular on very steep sunny slopes medium-sized and, in isolated cases, large gliding avalanches are to be expected. Areas with glide cracks are to be avoided as far as possible.

see also snowpack and weather

Level 3, considerable

Fresh snow

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

Even single winter sport participants can release avalanches. These can in particular be triggered in near-surface layers and reach dangerously large size. The avalanche prone locations are barely recognisable, even to the trained eye.
Fresh wind slabs are to be found especially at elevated altitudes. They are mostly small but in some cases prone to triggering.
Backcountry touring and other off-piste activities call for experience in the assessment of avalanche danger. Defensive route selection is recommended.

Gliding avalanches

In particular on very steep sunny slopes large gliding avalanches are to be expected below approximately 2400 m. Exposed transportation routes can be endangered. Areas with glide cracks are to be avoided as far as possible.

see also snowpack and weather

Level 3, considerable

Old snow, wind slabs

Avalanche prone locations
In particular in west to north to southeast facing aspects above approximately 1800m.

In particular in west to north to southeast facing aspects above approximately 1800m.

Danger description

Avalanches can in some cases be triggered in the old snowpack and reach dangerously large size. Caution is to be exercised in particular in areas where the snow cover is rather shallow. These avalanche prone locations are barely recognisable, even to the trained eye.
Fresh wind slabs are to be found in particular adjacent to ridgelines and in gullies and bowls. They are mostly small but can be released easily.
Backcountry touring and other off-piste activities call for experience in the assessment of avalanche danger. Defensive route selection is recommended.

Gliding avalanches

In particular on very steep sunny slopes medium-sized and, in isolated cases, large gliding avalanches are to be expected below approximately 2200 m. Caution is to be exercised in areas with glide cracks.

see also snowpack and weather

Considerable avalanche danger will be encountered over a wide area
Edition: 16.1.2019, 17:00 / Next update: 17.1.2019, 18:00
Snowpack
The thick layers of fresh snow from the beginning of the week are consolidating increasingly. Particularly on shady slopes, they are still prone to triggering in some places. In Goms and from the eastern part of the Bernese Oberland over the central and eastern sectors of the northern flank of the Alps as far as northern Grisons and into the northern part of Lower Engadine, the layers of fresh fallen snow are so thick that persons can hardly still trigger avalanches in the old snowpack. In the remaining regions, except in the furthermost south, the more deeply embedded weak layers need to be evaluated with great caution. Especially treacherous are the places where the snow is shallow.
At high altitude as a result of the westerly winds, predominantly small-sized snowdrift accumulations have been generated during the last two days which are expected to grow further on Thursday.
Below approximately 2200 m, gliding snow is active and glide-snow avalanches can be expected, especially on sunny slopes. Glide cracks on the snowpack surface have been observed as high up as 2500 m. In the regions where snowfall has been heaviest on the northern flank of the Alps and in northern Grisons, glide-snow avalanches can become very large in some places.
Observed weather on Wednesday, 16.01.2019
It was sunny, accompanied intermittently by high altitude cloudbanks.
Fresh snow
-
Temperature
At midday at 2000 m, between +4 °C in western regions; and +2 °C in eastern regions; and -2 °C in southern regions
Wind
Winds were blowing at light to moderate strength from westerly to southwesterly directions, intensifying during the afternoon in northern regions and in general at high altitudes.
Weather forecast through Thursday, 17.01.2019
In the Jura and the southern regions, nocturnal skies will frequently be overcast, in the other regions skies will be clear. During the morning in northern and eastern regions, skies will initially be bright as a result of foehn influence, in the furthermost eastern regions it will even be quite sunny. During the course of the day, clouds will move in from the west and light snowfall will set in. In the southern regions skies will be overcast and local showers are anticipated. The snowfall level will descend from 1000 m down to approximately 700 m.
Fresh snow
Above approximately 1200 m, the following amounts of fresh snow are expected:
  • Jura; western sector of the northern flank of the Alps, Lower Valais, northern Upper Valais: 5 to 10 cm;
  • remaining sectors of the northern flank of the Alps, Sotto Ceneri: maximum 5 cm.
Temperature
The midday temperature at 2000 m will descend to -5 °C in western and southern regions, and to -2 °C in eastern regions.
Wind
  • Winds will be blowing at moderate strength, at strong velocity in the Jura, in western and in high alpine regions, from the southwest;
  • south of the Main Alpine Ridge, winds will be predominantly light from the south.
Outlook through Saturday, 19.01.2019
On Thursday night in northern regions, about 10 cm of fresh snow is expected above approximately 1000 m. During the course of the day it will become predominantly sunny from the west. On Saturday, skies will turn heavily overcast to an increasing degree from the southwest. In the southern regions a small amount of snowfall is possible; in the northern regions it will remain dry. The avalanche danger is not expected to change significantly on Friday, and stems largely from the snowdrift accumulations and gliding snow masses. On Saturday, the avalanche danger levels will decrease somewhat.
 

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:

Considerable avalanche danger will be encountered over a wide area
Edition: 16.1.2019, 17:00 / Next update: 17.1.2019, 18:00
Snowpack
The thick layers of fresh snow from the beginning of the week are consolidating increasingly. Particularly on shady slopes, they are still prone to triggering in some places. In Goms and from the eastern part of the Bernese Oberland over the central and eastern sectors of the northern flank of the Alps as far as northern Grisons and into the northern part of Lower Engadine, the layers of fresh fallen snow are so thick that persons can hardly still trigger avalanches in the old snowpack. In the remaining regions, except in the furthermost south, the more deeply embedded weak layers need to be evaluated with great caution. Especially treacherous are the places where the snow is shallow.
At high altitude as a result of the westerly winds, predominantly small-sized snowdrift accumulations have been generated during the last two days which are expected to grow further on Thursday.
Below approximately 2200 m, gliding snow is active and glide-snow avalanches can be expected, especially on sunny slopes. Glide cracks on the snowpack surface have been observed as high up as 2500 m. In the regions where snowfall has been heaviest on the northern flank of the Alps and in northern Grisons, glide-snow avalanches can become very large in some places.
Observed weather on Wednesday, 16.01.2019
It was sunny, accompanied intermittently by high altitude cloudbanks.
Fresh snow
-
Temperature
At midday at 2000 m, between +4 °C in western regions; and +2 °C in eastern regions; and -2 °C in southern regions
Wind
Winds were blowing at light to moderate strength from westerly to southwesterly directions, intensifying during the afternoon in northern regions and in general at high altitudes.
Weather forecast through Thursday, 17.01.2019
In the Jura and the southern regions, nocturnal skies will frequently be overcast, in the other regions skies will be clear. During the morning in northern and eastern regions, skies will initially be bright as a result of foehn influence, in the furthermost eastern regions it will even be quite sunny. During the course of the day, clouds will move in from the west and light snowfall will set in. In the southern regions skies will be overcast and local showers are anticipated. The snowfall level will descend from 1000 m down to approximately 700 m.
Fresh snow
Above approximately 1200 m, the following amounts of fresh snow are expected:
  • Jura; western sector of the northern flank of the Alps, Lower Valais, northern Upper Valais: 5 to 10 cm;
  • remaining sectors of the northern flank of the Alps, Sotto Ceneri: maximum 5 cm.
Temperature
The midday temperature at 2000 m will descend to -5 °C in western and southern regions, and to -2 °C in eastern regions.
Wind
  • Winds will be blowing at moderate strength, at strong velocity in the Jura, in western and in high alpine regions, from the southwest;
  • south of the Main Alpine Ridge, winds will be predominantly light from the south.
Outlook through Saturday, 19.01.2019
On Thursday night in northern regions, about 10 cm of fresh snow is expected above approximately 1000 m. During the course of the day it will become predominantly sunny from the west. On Saturday, skies will turn heavily overcast to an increasing degree from the southwest. In the southern regions a small amount of snowfall is possible; in the northern regions it will remain dry. The avalanche danger is not expected to change significantly on Friday, and stems largely from the snowdrift accumulations and gliding snow masses. On Saturday, the avalanche danger levels will decrease somewhat.

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.

 

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.

 

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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