Did someone say “favorable moist flow“?
We’re all excited for the storm- but make sure you step back and give serious thought before stepping out into the untracked in the near future.
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RIVERTON WY 156 AM MST WED DEC 28 2011 ...SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL ACROSS WESTERN WYOMING THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH THURSDAY... .A FAVORABLE MOIST WESTERLY FLOW OFF THE PACIFIC OCEAN WILL GENERATE A PROLONGED PERIOD OF SNOWFALL ACROSS WESTERN WYOMING TODAY AND THURSDAY. SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL AND GUSTY WIND WILL COMBINE FOR WINTER STORM CONDITIONS ACROSS MUCH OF WESTERN WYOMING. THE HEAVIEST SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED TO OCCUR TONIGHT INTO THURSDAY MORNING.
Well, you probably knew about that. I mean, people will talk about the storm then give you the look of “Don’t you jinx this MoFo!”
The storm is coming in warm- with a chance for a mixed bag here in the valley. The snow will be falling on an incredibly weak foundation.
Hence, the Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center has posted up an Avalanche Warning on their site, discouraging travel in avalanche terrain.
Details of the avalanche warning:
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK-ABSAROKA MOUNTAINS- TETON AND GROS VENTRE MOUNTAINS-WIND RIVER MOUNTAINS WEST- WIND RIVER MOUNTAINS EAST-SALT RIVER AND WYOMING RANGES- BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED AVALANCHE WARNING BRIDGER-TETON NATIONAL FOREST AVALANCHE CENTER RELAYED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RIVERTON WY 606 AM MST WED DEC 28 2011 THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS TRANSMITTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE BRIDGER-TETON NATIONAL FOREST AVALANCHE CENTER. THE BRIDGER-TETON NATIONAL FOREST AVALANCHE CENTER HAS ISSUED AN AVALANCHE WARNING FROM NOON WEDNESDAY UNTIL MIDNIGHT FRIDAY. HEAVY SNOWFALL AND STRONG WINDS WILL CREATE DANGEROUS CONDITIONS IN THE MOUNTAINOUS AREAS OF WESTERN WYOMING. NATURAL AND HUMAN TRIGGERED AVALANCHES ARE LIKELY TO OCCUR. TRAVEL IN AVALANCHE TERRAIN IS NOT RECOMMENDED. AVALANCHES COULD IMPACT ROADWAYS ON TETON PASS AND IN THE HOBACK AND SNAKE RIVER CANYONS.
But you already knew that. That’s what happens. Snow falls on other snow and sometimes snow slides down. No worries, Brah, I’m beepin’…
Our base layers are fairly atrocious- faceting, crusts, and many weeks of surface hoar development lead to serious sketchyness.
From Jake Urban, “Teton Snow Geek” post on 12/16/11:
“…our shallow basal snowpack is comprised of: “weak faceted snow” that is generally unsupportive and collapses easily under load; “isolated pockets of wind slab” that can become problematic when they form in avalanche start zones in combination with an underlying weak layer; “buried surface hoar” that is a famously weak layer when buried and the most common layer for failure when overlaid by a slab; and “hard crusts” that often provide a good bed surface for avalanches to run on. “
In short: Check yo self, foo!
Finally, due to slide potential on Teton Pass, WyDOT plans on closing WY22 at 3:00AM Thursday morning until it is deemed safe. Check out WYDOT Travel Information regarding the Jackson area and plan accordingly.
Have fun. Be careful. The season has just begun.