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Topic - Help me understand...

NottsRich on 24 Jan 2013
...avalanche prediction.

I'm looking to head to the Southern Uplands this weekend for a bit of XC skiing and gully scrambling, and I'm assuming that at the momement there is a large amount of powder scattered around the place. As I understand it, windslab is likely to have formed at the moment, and that it is the current avalanche risk because it is on top of a loose powdery base. Is that assumption correct, or is the risk because of just loose powder that wants to flow downhill?

Looking forward to Sunday when I'm heading out, the MWIS forecast is saying -4 today and gentle winds, then -3 on Friday with heavy snowfall. As far as I know, this will put fresh powder on existing windslab, which could cause a bigger problem. Is that right? (Assuming the winds are constant, which they seems to be).

Then on Saturday the forecast is for an increase in temperature to above freezing, and some rain. Would this stabilise the snowpack because of the rain? Or would it cause weaknesses because of the rising temperatures?

If it froze again after the rain (Sat night) would the conditions on Sunday potentially be really good?

I don't know the area well so can't offer specific slopes of interest - this is a more generic look so I'm aware no advice can be too exact! I think what I'm after is what effect the rise in temperature, and the rain, will have on powder on top of windslab.

Any suggestions or links would be appreciated.

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