Avalanche Forecast Bulletin
for Tuesday 24.01.2017
(published: Monday, 23.01.2017 at 4:26 pm)
german version
Snowdrifts widespread at high altitudes. Plus old-snow problem on north-facing slopes.
Avalanche Danger
Avalanche danger in Styria is generally a matter of altitude. Above the forest limits, moderate danger prevails; below the forest limits as well as in the western sector of the borderline range and in the Gurktal and Seetal Alps, danger is low. Avalanche prone locations are focused particularly on high-altitude north-facing slopes, where the snowdrift problem is added to the mixture of threats: at the entry points to gullies and bowls, as well as behind terrain edges. The snowdrifts often blanket a layer of surface hoar and can be triggered as avalanches even by the weight of one sole skier. These danger zones can be easily recognized by experienced backcountry tourers, and circumvented. Older weak layers still threaten inside the snowpack, particularly delicate in transitions from shallow to deep snow. In addition, winds have shifted to northwesterly, leading to small snowdrifts accumulating on south-facing slopes. On steep grass-covered slopes and hillsides, gliding avalanches can be naturally triggered in isolated cases. Exposed transportation routes could well be placed at risk from these releases.
Snow Layering
Due to the low temperatures, the proneness to snowdrifts triggering on north-facing slopes persists. The snowdrifts have often been deposited atop a layer of surface hoar or atop an older snowpack with a series of melt-freeze crusts and faceted-crystal snow. As a result of shifting wind direction (to northwesterly) snowdrifts are now accumulating on south-facing slopes at high altitudes, deposited on top of a melt-freeze crust. At lower altitudes the snow is already heavy and sticky on sunny slopes, whereas on shady slopes there is still powder to be found.
Alpine Weather Forecast
Tuesday will begin with sunshine in the mountains, in the valleys the high fog will remain tenacious. Winds will continue to be blowing at moderate strength from the north, temperatures will recede slightly: at 2000m, -6 degrees at midday. Towards evening winds will shift to northeasterly and some light clouds will move across Styria from east to west.
Short Term Development
On Wednesday in western Styrian regions, light winds will be blowing, in eastern regions brisker, from the northeast. Temperatures will rise slightly. The day will be filled withy sunshine by and large, but some cloud could move in from the north during the afternoon. Avalanche danger is expected to diminish only very incrementally.

The next forecast will be published tomorrow at about 6:00 pm.
Lisa J÷bstl
Translated by Jeffrey McCabe, www.creativtrans.com