San Juan Mountains getting pounded. Avalanche danger listed as high

Next Up

December 9th, 2009

Avalanche Data from CAIC

The San Juan Mountains got hit with 12'-25' of new snow from a large storm on Monday night and Monday. Avalanche Danger remains high, with a warning in effect until 12 p.m. 12/09/09. Avalanche conditions remain considerable throughout the rest of the state. Durango and and other resorts reporting large dumps.

Highlights

Strong winds and heavy snow have created HIGH avalanche danger in the North San Juan. Numerous natural avalanches have been reported on a variety of aspects and elevations. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.

Snow & Avalanche Discussion

Winds have been steady from the south with gusts into the 60's overnight. Snowfall has been intense in the southern part of the zone, with periods of 3" per hour snowfall. Snow totals are difficult because of the wind, but look to be around 20" in the south and 10" in the north. Observers have reported numerous natural avalanches, and all of the mountain passes (except Lizard Head) are currently closed. The avalanche danger today is HIGH. Even places that received lighter snowfall are showing very reactive slab activity. Unstable snow is likely on a variety of aspects and elevations. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended. Safest travel is on low angle windward ridges, and low angle slopes without steeper terrain above. We will provide an update as visibility increases throughout the day.

<p>Winds have been steady from the south with gusts into the 60's overnight. Snowfall has been intense in the southern part of the zone, with periods of 3" per hour snowfall. Snow totals are difficult because of the wind, but look to be around 20" in the south and 10" in the north.&nbsp; Observers have reported numerous natural avalanches, and all of the mountain passes (except Lizard Head) are currently closed. The avalanche danger today is HIGH. Even places that received lighter snowfall are showing very reactive slab activity. Unstable snow is likely on a variety of aspects and elevations. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended. Safest travel is on low angle windward ridges, and low angle slopes without steeper terrain above. We will provide an update as visibility increases throughout the day.</p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden" /><!--Session data--><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p> <p><input id="gwProxy" type="hidden"><!--Session data--></input><input id="jsProxy" onclick="jsCall();" type="hidden" /></p>
Weather Discussion

The southern slope of the San Juan got hit hard last night; overnight storm totals range from 12 to 25 inches. The low pressure system and associated cold front continues to move SW to NE, and the upper trough axis will pass over Central Colorado around noon today. As the system passes, upper level flow will swing more to the west, and orographic snowfall will begin to favor the more northwestern slopes and/or those that are favored by a zonal flow pattern. Expect strong and gusty winds as the front passes. In the north, overnight precipitation was limited, but most locations should get a quick pulse of snow today as the the front moves through. Temperatures will stay cold in the north, but will warm into the upper teens by Wednesday in the southern part of the state.

Durango, Silverton, and Wolf Creek all reporting over 20" of new snow in the past 24 hrs. With avi danger in the backcountry high, now is a good time to drop into the resorts for some epic powder skiing. Check out the TGR Snowlab for snow, lift, and weather info.

For more info on Colorado weather and snow pack visit the Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Next Story

TGR Tested: Faction Dictator 3.0