Avalanche danger is receding

SANDPOINT — Avalanche danger in the Panhandle appears to be slackening, according to the U.S. Forest Service’s Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center.

The avalanche hazard rating for the Selkirk and Cabinet mountain ranges is low on all aspects and moderate near ridge tops and in areas of wind-loading or wind-affected snow on slopes greater than 35 degrees.

Avalanche danger had been rated as considerable with pockets of higher danger on wind-loaded aspects steeper than 35 degrees. Natural slides were considered possible, while human-triggered slides were considered likely

Forecasters ventured into the field in the Cabinets and Selkirks earlier this month and found a couple feet of moist, heavy snow sitting atop a drier, lighter layer of snow.

Moreover, there were rain and ice crust layers about a meter into the snowpack, which stoked concerns that a slide could step down onto them and produce a big release.

Avalanche forecasters evaluated the Trestle Peak area on Thursday and found mostly stable conditions due to moderate snow accumulations helping to settle old weak layers. Time has also helped stabilize the pack, forecasters said.

 Some wind was moving light surface snow at the ridge tops, so some slabs may have developed on lee aspects due to wind loading and denser surface slabs on windward aspects.

Compression tests in the Selkirks near Schweitzer Mountain revealed low-quality collapses in near-surface snow, forecasters said.

 Minor wind slabs were found near ridge tops.

The depth to the Dec. 4 ice crust weak layer was about 5 feet and was not reacting.

“Log this old weak layer in your memory since it will deteriorate over time and could become a weak layer again,” Kevin Davis said in a Dec. 28 avalanche advisory.

Read More News

At least 15 killed, dozens injured in knifing near Tokyo

AP

July 25, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Japan's national broadcaster NHK is reporting that 15 people were killed and 45 injured in a knife attack at a facility for the handicapped in Sagamihara, just outside Tokyo.

Read More

Farewell to VCRs: Japanese maker to shelve once-hit product

AP

July 25, 2016 at 2:19 pm | Japanese electronics maker Funai Electric Co. says it's yanking the plug on the world's last video cassette recorder

Read More

CDC Urges Doctors To Aggressively Test Pregnant Women For Zika

AP

July 25, 2016 at 2:31 pm | The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling on doctors to more aggressively screen pregnant women for the Zika virus and to take advantage of new testing technology to improve the...

Read More

1st US system to keep drones away from wildfires kicks off

AP

July 25, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Federal authorities say they've launched the first national system intended to prevent hobby drones from interfering with planes and helicopters fighting wildfires

Read More