Avalanche Report for Glencoe

Issued

Avalanche Hazard Forecast

FOR PERIOD 18:00 Wed 17/12/2014 TO 18:00 Thu 18/12/2014

Hazard level
Icon
Low
Human triggered avalanches not likely. Generally safe travel conditions.
Moderate
Human triggered avalanches are possible, so good visibility and good route selection is important, especially in steep locations as indicated in the reports. Groups should be managed carefully, keeping good spacing between people to reduce loading on slopes.
Considerable
Natural avalanches may occur - and a single person load is likely to trigger an avalanche on some slopes. Good visibility and route finding in mountain terrain is important, as is experience in avalanche hazard evaluation.
High
Natural avalanches will occur - and a single person load will trigger an avalanche on some slopes. Good visibility and good route-finding in mountain terrain is essential, as is experience in avalanche hazard evaluation.
Very High
Widespread natural avalanches will occur - and a single person load will trigger an avalanche on most slopes. Good visibility and good route-finding in mountain terrain is essential, as is experience in avalanche hazard evaluation.
View Hazard and Travel Advice (link opens in a new window)

The avalanche hazard will be Moderate

Forcasted Snow Stability & Avalanche Hazard

The existing snowpack will continue to thaw and consolidate overnight, before freezing and stabilising during the day in the colder conditions. Through the day fresh areas of windslab will be deposited on North through East to South-East aspects above 700 meters. These areas are not expected to be extensive. Coire rims and the tops of gullies will be most affected. The avalanche hazard will be Moderate.

Forcasted Weather Influences

After a generally mild night with some rain at all levels, the freezing level will drop slowly through the day. Rain showers will turn increasingly to snow as the freezing level progressively drops to around 600 meters at the very end of the forecast period. Moderate to strong winds will be South-West to Westerly.

Key Snow Stability Observations

What do these icons mean?

Observed Avalanche Hazard -

The avalanche hazard is Moderate

Observed Weather Influences

During the night precipitation rapidly turned to rain as the freezing level rose well above the summits. During the day it was mild and generally dry.

Observed Snow Stability and Avalanche Hazard

After a period of instability overnight, stability improved through the day as the wet snowpack slowly began to consolidated. However, instabilities remained on steep North-East to South-East aspects above 800 meters. Some weak cornices exist, and evidence of recent cornice collapse was observed. The avalanche hazard is Moderate

Comments

Existing snowpack expected to become very hard and icy over the next few days as conditions become progressively colder.

Weekly Snowpack Summary
  
  • The snowpack has been mainly isothermic and moist at most levels for the past week and is generally well bonded and stable. We have encountered South, South-West and Westesterly weather influences with the freezing level generally above the summits. The avalanche hazard has been Low for 6 of the days with one day with a localised Moderate hazard. The day Moderate (localised) was forecast did not materialize because new snow amounts were not significant. This is the last summary of the 2013/2014

    The snowpack has been isothermic and moist at most levels for the past week and is generally well bonded and stable. We have encountered Easterly weather influences with the freezing level generally above the summits. The avalanche hazard has been Low for 6 of the days with one day with a localised Moderate hazard.

    Wintery conditions returned last Friday 21 March with a fair amount of new snow over the next two days mainly above 800 metres. Victim triggered avalanches were recorded on Sunday. Windy conditions followed with strong to gale South-Easterlies affecting the area. Natural avalanches were recorded on East and North West slopes. On Tuesday a return to milder conditions saw rain affecting all levels. Wednesday was dry and mild and Thursday colder with snow showers and Easterly winds.

    Its been a stormy week with unsettled mild weather on most days. Rain has fallen at all levels until today when snow fell above 700m. During the week the snowpack has been moist with wet snow instabilities on steep slopes, no avalanche have been recorded. At present, the new accumulations of snow and windslab are not to depth and mostly on North to East aspect and give a localised Considereable hazard. More snow is forecast for the next few days with the freezing level around 600-800 metres.

    The period started with mild weather leading to wet snow instabilities. As temperatures fell stability of the snowpack generally improved. Levels of precipitation were low and there was some fine sunny weather which produced some instabilities on South facing slopes. The temperature rising with some rain increased the avalanche risk at the end of the period. Cornice collapse remained a serious issue throughout the period.

    The week has been challenging for snowpack stability there have been many avalanches this week at least 12 recorded. The avalanche category was generally Considerable with avalanches are likely and the last 2 days have had a High category and again avalanches did happen. The snow was generally dry for the first part of the week but now it is moist especially at lower levels.

    Another stormy week with a fair amount of new snow on the higher slopes on most days apart from 23rd which was wet at all levels. Snow quantities in the Glencoe area remain exceptionally high on the upper slopes. Winds have mainly been from a South-East through South to Westerly direction.

    The stormy conditions have continued. Winds have been strong with snowfall occurring most days which has continued to build up large areas of windslab and bury huts and lifts in the ski area. There has been some avalanche activity recorded, most notably a large natural avalanche out of Great Gully on Buachaille Etive Mor on Sunday night. It is likely there has been a lot of avalanches which have not been recorded due to the poor visibility.

    There has been extensive and deep snow cover above 600m all week. Strong SE winds during the first part of this period continued to deposit unstable windslab on SW through W and N to NE aspects mainly above 700m, with natural and triggered avalanches recorded on Thursday and Sunday. From Sunday onwards mainly strong winds varied between SE and SW depositing windslab mainly on W through N to E aspects above 750m.

    There is an extensive and very deep cover of snow above 700 metres with strangely very little, if any accumulations in the glens. Over the last week winds have been predominantly from the South, then South East, very strong at times. This has lead to a significant build up of windslab in many sheltered gullies and South West through North to North East aspects. With continuing colder temperatures, many of these areas remain unstable.

    Temperature fluctuations at the start of this period consolidated the existing snowpack. Fresh windslab was then deposited mainly on W to N to NE aspects above 800m, with winds that varied between SE and SW. Over Wednesday night and during Thursday there was significant snowfall with strong SSW to WNW winds which deposited deep accumulations of fresh unstable windslab, mainly on NW through N and E to SE aspects above 750m.

    At first winds were mainly South-Westerly and windslab formed primarily on North to East aspects above 800m. Then from Sunday winds became Southerly or South-Easterly and windslab was present on West through North to East aspects above 800m. During Wednesday the freezing level rose above the summits and in the late afternoon and early evening heavy rain fell at all levels. On Thursday the freezing level dropped to around 900m and the snowpack started to refreeze and consolidate.

    Above 800 metres there is an extensive cover of snow on North-Westerly through North to South-Easterly aspects. A recent melt -freeze cycle has rendered much of the older snowpack firm and stable. Some areas of fresh windslab are forming in sheltered locations such as gully exits and steep Northerly and Easterly aspects. Below 700 metres the snow cover is much depleted due to milder conditions and rain.

    Significant accumulations of snow are still present on most aspects especially above 650 metres. The snowpack stability has varied during the past 7 days it started off being very unstable and has now become almost isothermic. Changeable unsettled weather is forecast for the next few days with more snowfall which will produce more instabilities. The greatest accumulations are mainly on W to N to SE aspects above 750m.

    Stormy conditions over the last few days added a deep cover of snow on North-West through North to Easterly aspects initially down to lower levels. Many windward slopes are fairly clear of any significant cover. Outlook is milder on Friday then frequent snow showers on Saturday.

    Significant accumulations of snow compared to last week. Winter snowpack developing on mainly NW to N to SE aspects above 750m. Immediate concerns (Thursday 19 Dec) are rising temperatures in the forecast period combined with new snow instability on above noted aspects and elevations.

    Limited snowpack with patches mainly on North through East to South-East aspects above 850m.

Glencoe - Latest Blog Posts
This report is supported by
Sports Scotland
Met Office
Sponsors
Feedback