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Avalanche Bulletin 17.01.2019

Avalanche Danger

Springtime conditions prevail, a slight danger curve develops during the day. Avalanche danger in early morning is generally low, then increases to moderate above 2500 m as the day unfolds. Below that altitude it remains low, since the lower altitude snowpack now consists of stable summertime corn snow. Avalanche prone conditions for backcountry skiers are most likely on shady slopes above 2500 m, on sunny slopes above 3000 m: extremely steep terrain can unleash loose-snow avalanches where the surface is wet. Isolated gliding avalanches can still trigger on steep grassy slopes, even where there is stable summertime corn snow. Slab avalanches are highly unlikely. Potential dangers still requiring caution: shady slopes above 2500 m where the snow has been shallow all winter long. Sunny slopes in high alpine regions. A triggering is possible only by large additional loading, e.g. the impulse from a loose-snow avalanche or a breaking cornice, or from massive water seepage in the snowpack.

Snow Layering

Snow depths have diminished significantly in the warm month of April. The snowpack on shady slopes up to 2500 m, on sunny slopes up to 3000 m, consists of stable summertime corn snow. Few weak layers are evident inside the snowpack: small nests of depth hoar on shady slopes where snow is shallow above 2500 m. And faceted crystals near melt-freeze crusts on sunny slopes above 3000 m.

Alpine Weather Forecast (ZAMG-Weather Service Innsbruck)

The first of May will be sunny and largely dry. Only in the Lechtal is there a heightened tendency towards showers in the afternoon, less so for thunderstorms. On the Main Alpine Ridge and southwards therefrom, more cloud, some rainfall this afternoon, snow above 2200 m. Following the slightly cloudy skies during the night, the morning will start chilly, below zero at 2500 m, and will warm up only to a moderate extent during the daytime. At 2000 m: +5 degrees; at 3000 m: -4 degrees. Moderate to brisk S/SW winds at high altitude.


As the winter rounds to a close, few avalanches are likely. Caution is urged in case of massive rainfall in high alpine regions. Updates via blog can be found at lawine.tirol. A debt of thanks to all those who have helped us throughout the winter.


[Author: Patrick Nairz]

More detailed information can be found at avalanche.report

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