Posted on: 2016-02-07 22:21:04 by davidof

Avalanche warning for the Southern Alps 7 Feb 2016

The Southern Alps are expecting 40 to 70cm of snow over Sunday and Monday above 2000 meters altitude. Meteo France has issued the following avalanche warning

"The risk of avalanche has significantly increased in the mountain ranges of the Southern French Alps (Considerable to High risk). The snowfall over the course of Sunday has brought 40cm of fresh snow above 2000 meters altitude to the mountain ranges in the following departments: Hautes-Alpes, Alpes de Haute Provence et Alpes Maritimes and 60cm to the Mercantour in the Maritime Alps. Given the existence of weaknesses in the existing snowpack on many slopes the new snow is poorly bonded to the old snow. As a result slabs can be triggered by skiers on many slopes. The situation is complicated because the slopes concerned are not just those near to summits. Great care is needed for off piste skiing and touring, especially above 2000 meters altitude"

The recent snowfall was accompanied by strong winds from the east and south east turning to the north-west then west overnight. It can be seen that there is a risk of wind slab on all slope aspects. The long period of clear weather in the Southern Alps has formed weak layers of faceted snow and gobelet.