Avalanche danger 'elevated' as warmer, wet weather returns to Lower Mainland

Jan 17 2017, 8:19 am

If you were thinking of heading into the backcountry this week in search of fresh snow, you may want to rethink that plan – or at very least, do your homework.

While the warmer temperature on Monday – which is forecast to continue through this week – is a welcome break from the snow and ice in Vancouver, it also means a change in the snowpack stability of surrounding mountains and an “elevated” avalanche risk.

“We are at a transitional period and looking at enhanced precipitation and a rising temperature this week,” said James Floyer, a forecasting program supervisor with Avalanche Canada.

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As a result, Floyer told Daily Hive that the Canadian Avalanche Association expects the coastal mountains around Vancouver to be “quite active over the next few days” when it comes to avalanche activity.

“Certainly, the North Shore Mountains are a bulls-eye for precipitation this week,” he said, adding it will be a similar story for the Sea-to-Sky Corridor to Whistler.

Floyer noted that a combination of wind, warmer temperatures, precipitation, and a rise in the freezing level are all set to combine forces this week, creating the heightened avalanche risk.

Forecasters are currently working to see what conditions are going to be as the week progresses, and “we encourage people to check current conditions before heading out,” he added.

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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