Avalanche forecast for Nordenskiöld Land Thursday 2019-02-14

2
Moderate
Published:

Wind deposited snow could rest on a persistent weak layer of facets. In some areas an avalanche can be triggered by snowmobiles. There are wind-slabs in the high mountains, most in eastern part of the region.

Wind drifted snow (slab avalanches)

Poor bonding between layers in wind deposited snow

Be careful and keep distance to each other in steep (above 30 degrees) terrain with fresh wind deposited snow, especially convex terrain. An avalanche is easier to trigger where wind slabs are thin or soft. Look for areas where the wind recently has deposited snow, typically behind ridges, ribs and in gullies. Remember that local wind effects will cause variation in where the wind slabs occur.
2 - Medium
High additional load
Specific steep slopes
Possible

Persistent weak layer (slab avalanches)

Buried weak layer of faceted snow near surface

Keep distance to each other when traveling in avelanche terrain. NB, remote triggering is possible. Make very conservative route choices, especially in unknown terrain, after snowfall and if temperatures rise. Identifying areas where the weak layer is present might be difficult and requires experience. Danger signs are whoumpf-sounds and cracking which means that you influence weak layers and should avoid avalanche terrain. However, absence of signs does not mean it is safe.
3 - Large
High additional load
Specific steep slopes
Unlikely

What are avalanche problems?

Observations the last 3 days (map placed)

0 mm precipitation.
Breeze from southeast.
-23 °C to -15 °C at 700 m a.s.l.
Partly cloudy.

For updated info, please visit yr.no
0 mm precipitation.
Breeze from east., change to strong breeze from the northeast during the afternoon.
-18 °C to -13 °C at 700 m a.s.l.
Clear skies.

For updated info, please visit yr.no

Observations the last 3 days

Nordenskiöld Land / SVALBARD

Snow

14.02.2019 kl. 14:46

591 masl

HoltH@unis (***)

Image Of Snow Cover
Image 1 of 4 Of:  Snow Cover Copyright:  Comment:  East down Blekumbreen towards Hiortfjellet.
Image Of Snow Cover
Image 2 of 4 Of:  Snow Cover Copyright:  Comment:  Ottofjellet's western aspect from Tellbreen. Pit location is marked with the nice robin's egg blue dot.
Image Of Snow Cover
Image 3 of 4 Of:  Snow Cover Copyright:  Comment:  Arctowskifjellet / Albert Bruntoppen / Kreklingpasset area from Ottofjellet.
Image Of Snow Profile
Image 4 of 4 Of:  Snow Profile Copyright:  Comment:  Generally faceted snowpack. Very little change in grain form below around 90 cm, with layering here manifesting as relatively subtle changes in hardness. Lower density layers below the uppermost layer of facets were completely unreactive in stability tests. Pit is representative for western aspects above 400 m north of adventdalen.

Avalanche Problems

Buried weak layer of faceted snow above a crust Within half a meter The overlying slab is soft. Difficult to trigger 2 - Medium SW, W, NW The only avalanche problem I observed on this observation trip is a layer of facets sandwiched between two very dense, hard windslabs (that are also faceting themselves). This layer is thick and not shearing cleanly or propagating in stability tests. I did not observe the obvious facet / crust / facet stratigraphy that we have been following throughout the region in this location (and at this elevation) - instead, this faceted layer seems to be a lower density wind slab that is readily faceting with strong temperature gradients. So I am a bit unsure if I selected the right type of weak layer from the drop-down menu above but I would classify this as a "developing layer of facets within the snowpack". Unsure of the regional distribution of this particular layer, but observed throughout the western aspect I investigated on this trip.

Danger Sign

No signs observed

Avalanche Danger Assessment

2 Moderate I observed stable conditions on my trip today, with no obvious signs of instability. Cold air is inducing relatively strong temperature gradients in the snowpack and promoting faceting, but this does not appear to be a problem without large additional loads (i.e. conditionally stable). Based on this trip today, we are very close to FG 1, but a moderate rating is still probably ok with reports of considerably more snow with the potential for wind slab development further south. Continued cold, clear weather will promote facet development in the upper portions of the snowpack. In particular, low density fresh snow at the surface will facet readily and, combined with the harder layer underneath, form a good weak layer / bed surface stratigraphy for future avalanche activity. We are also getting into a period of diurnal temperature fluctuations with the return of the sun, which also promote faceting in the surface snow. Forecast correct looks great.

Weather

-19 °C 2 m/s from N ↓ klart, kaldt, stabilt, og nydelig vær

Tests

ECTN14@27cm

Snow Cover

150 cm in total No snowdrift 0 cm new snow Snow line at 0 masl Some loose snow (1-10cm) Dry Between 1,5 m and 2,0 m snow above 400 moh on the western aspect of Ottofjellet. Light snow showers on Monday deposited up to 10 cm of snow in leeward areas that, in this location at least, remains relatively unaffected by the wind. In other locations, I have observed this snow developing into unreactive wind slabs. Under the fresh snow, I found a conditionally stable, dense snowpack that is actively faceting in the upper 50 cm due to strong temperature gradients.

Avalanche Activity

14. Feb. During the day (+01:00) No avalanche activity ingen ferske skred i det siste...

ObsID: 180986

Nordenskiöld Land / SVALBARD

Snow

14.02.2019 kl. 14:31

150 masl

Sigmund@obskorps (****)

Image Of Avalanche Activity
Image 1 of 5 Of:  Avalanche Activity Copyright: 
Image Of Snow Cover
Image 2 of 5 Of:  Snow Cover Copyright:  Comment:  Fra Trollsteinen
Image Of Snow Cover
Image 3 of 5 Of:  Snow Cover Copyright:  Comment:  ra Trollsteinen
Image Of Snow Cover
Image 4 of 5 Of:  Snow Cover Copyright:  Comment:  Nybyen
Image Of Snow Cover
Image 5 of 5 Of:  Snow Cover Copyright:  Comment:  Sverdrupbyen

Snow Cover

No snowdrift Some loose snow (1-10cm) Noe snø tilgjengelig for transport på platåene

Avalanche Activity

13. Feb. During the day (+01:00) Cornice One (1). 2 - Medium. Difficult to trigger Isolated steep slopes. W Skavlbrudd på Gruvefjellet mot Larsbreen. Tror dette må ha gått i løpet av de tre siste dagene. Så det ikke når jeg gikk obstur forrige uke.

ObsID: 181015

Nordenskiöld Land / SVALBARD

Snow

14.02.2019 kl. 12:21

242 masl

harvey@ObsKorps (****)

Image Of Snow Profile
Image 1 of 4 Of:  Snow Profile Copyright: 
Image Of Weather
Image 2 of 4 Of:  Weather Copyright:  Harvey Goodwin
Image Of Weather
Image 3 of 4 Of:  Weather Copyright:  Harvey Goodwin
Image Of Snow Profile
Image 4 of 4 Of:  Snow Profile Copyright:  Harvey Goodwin

Avalanche Problems

Dry slab avalanche Buried weak layer of faceted snow above a crust Within half a meter The collapsing weak layer is thin < 3 cm. A big and identifiable crystal in the weak layer. Very difficult to trigger 3 - Large N, NE, W, NW above 0 masl

Danger Sign

No signs observed

Weather

No precipitation -15 °C 1 m/s from S ↑

Tests

ECTX Good

Snow Cover

No snowdrift 0 cm new snow Snow line at 0 masl. Layered snow begins at 0 masl Dry

Snow Profile

10 stratigraphy layers observed 9 temperature points observed

ObsID: 180982

Nordenskiöld Land / SVALBARD

Snow

14.02.2019 kl. 09:57

388 masl

mnskeyser (Unknown)

Image Of Avalanche Activity
Image 1 of 1 Of:  Avalanche Activity Copyright:  mnskeyser Comment:  3 skred vest for Varden. Så dem flrst i dag, har ikke lagt merke til dem før, men er usikker på hvor gamle de er.

Weather

No precipitation 1 m/s

Avalanche Activity

14. Feb. 6-12 (+01:00) Few (2-5) Above 0 masl

ObsID: 180912

Nordenskiöld Land / Sukkertoppen

Snow

13.02.2019 kl. 12:00

130 masl

HoltH@unis (***)

Image Of Snow Cover
Image 1 of 1 Of:  Snow Cover Copyright:  Comment:  TLS data displaying the changes to the snow depth on Sukkertoppen since the last scan taken on 2019-01-30 and described in https://www.regobs.no/Registration/178709. Linear patterns are data fragments and do not represent such patterns on the snow surface (the scanner doesn't like being super cold).

Snow Cover

Relatively little change to the snow depths in Sukkertoppen over the last 2 weeks. Maximum snow depth increases (about 1 m) are under the avalanche barriers above Lia. Otherwise, snow depth increases in the upper starting zone reach a maximum around 40 cm in the drift at the very top of the starting zone. The majority of this deposition likely occurred during the wind event early yesterday as seen on the data from the Sukkertoppen DRIVA snow sensor.

ObsID: 180786

Nordenskiöld Land / SVALBARD

Snow

13.02.2019 kl. 11:48

179 masl

Sigmund@obskorps (****)

Image Of Snow Cover
Image 1 of 6 Of:  Snow Cover Copyright:  Comment:  Sukkertopp fonna
Image Of Snow Cover
Image 2 of 6 Of:  Snow Cover Copyright:  Comment:  Fra toppen av Sukkertoppen mot Platåfjellet
Image Of Snow Cover
Image 3 of 6 Of:  Snow Cover Copyright:  Comment:  Gruvefjellet og Nordenskioldtoppen
Image Of Snow Cover
Image 4 of 6 Of:  Snow Cover Copyright:  Comment:  Gruvefjellet, Vannledningsdalen, Trollsteinen
Image Of Snow Cover
Image 5 of 6 Of:  Snow Cover Copyright:  Comment:  Fra sukkertoppen mot Hjortfjellet
Image Of Snow Profile
Image 6 of 6 Of:  Snow Profile Copyright: 

Avalanche Problems

Dry slab avalanche Buried weak layer of new snow Within half a meter Difficult to trigger 2 - Medium N, NE, W, NW

Danger Sign

No signs observed

Avalanche Danger Assessment

2 Moderate Det har blåst inn noe snø fra S. Men både lite vind og lite snø et skredproblem med lite forplatningsevne. Knivfast fokksnø isolorerer kantkornlaget og i denne siden har vi kaún et fokksnøproblem. Dette er nok representativt for alle skredsoner i Longyeardalen. Lite vind og nedbør samt kaldt vær fører vel bare til en sakte stabilisering av fokksnøen. Forecast correct Ser greit ut

Weather

No precipitation -15.5 °C 0 m/s

Tests

ECTN2@2cmQ3 Good

Snow Cover

115 cm in total No snowdrift 0 cm new snow Elevation of new snow 0 masl. Snow line at 0 masl. Layered snow begins at 0 masl Some loose snow (1-10cm) Dry Noe nedbør de siste dagene og vind fra S har blåst inn noe snø i den NV siden på sukkertoppen. Dette er nok representativt for alle lesider for den siste vinden. Den innblåste fokksnøen er av varierende hardhet. I skjerma områder i terrenget i denne siden er fokksnøen myk. Andre steder noe hardere med et innblåst lag med løsere snø under. Men fokksnølaget har liten utbredelse og det er ingen tegn til bruddforplantning i dette laget. Fokksnøen ligger i vestvendte sider på et tykt knivfast lag med fokksnø. Dette gjør at det gamle kantkornlaget i tilknytning til skare (som fortsatt er der) ikke lar seg påvirke. Ellers er snødekket rundt preget av avblåste losider og rygger med noe løssnø i skjerma terrengformer.

Snow Profile

8 stratigraphy layers observed 7 temperature points observed 1 Tests connected to snow profile

ObsID: 180714

Nordenskiöld Land / SVALBARD

Snow

11.02.2019 kl. 10:27

25 masl

Martini@unis (****)

Image Of Weather
Image 1 of 2 Of:  Weather Copyright:  Martini@unis Comment:  Mot Adv dalen fra unis
Image Of Weather
Image 2 of 2 Of:  Weather Copyright:  Martini@unis Comment:  Mot Sukkertoppen fra Unis

Weather

Snow -6 °C 5 m/s from S ↑ 100% clouds Lett snø, snøbyger på morgenen mandag. Stigende temperatur igjennom natta. Perioder med lett snøfokk ned i Longyearbyen, men ikke mye løs snø som flyttes.

ObsID: 180289

The bulletin does not include a detailed text about the avalanche conditions. This is only given in Norwegian. Translate it using google translate if you like. The text result will be informative, and most likely amusing

For planning your trip and recognizing avalanche terrain, use maps.

Norway has 1:50 000 maps for the whole country. Maps can be bought at bookstores and sports shops, or printed from the net.

Visit www.ut.no for topographic maps online. For slope angle maps, see NGI slope angel maps ("helning" means slope angle).

Modelled snowpack and historic and current weather information can be found on the webpage senorge.no. This site uses information from the weather stations and interpolate values from the stations for gridded maps.

Detailed weather forecast can be found online at www.yr.no or www.storm.no. Yr.no is also in English, but the weather in text format is only given in Norwegian.