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Avalanche warning issued for region’s mountains

WINTERSPORTS -- Changing temperatures and heavy snowfall has prompted an avalanche warning for mountainous areas outside of controlled areas at ski resorts.

The Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center's advisory today warns that recreationists who venture into avalanche terrain today have a high probablity of triggering avalanches.

"Today is a good day to avoid the backcountry all together," says the advisory. "It might be a good day to enjoy some powder at your local ski area."

AVALANCHE WARNING 

U.S. FOREST SERVICEFORECASTER:  Davis/Thompson

IDAHO PANHANDLE AVALANCHE CENTER
EFFECTIVE DATE:  02/20/2016

DATE ISSUED:     12/20/2016  0700
OUTLOOK: 

This report does not apply to local ski areas within the forecast region and the hazard rating will remain valid through midnight December 16th, 2016.  Special Thanks to Herb Wein at HP Waterhouse Systems for fixing our snowmobiles this year!  Herb can fix anything.
December 20th IPAC is hosting a class on how to interpret avalanche advisories.  The level 1 avy class with Selkirk Powder is on January 12th, sign up.  The AIARE avy class with SOLE is January 17th so check on that too.

FORECAST REGION WEATHER

TODAY:  Today we’ll see a high temperature of 23 degrees. Winds today are projected to be out of the SW 18-30 mph with gusts to 50 mph. Look for an additional 3-5 more inches to fall today.  TONIGHT: We’ll more than likely see a break in the storm this evening. Temperatures are projected to bottom out at 16 degrees. Winds will decrease to 15-23mph and continue to be out of the SW. New snow should be about 1’’.
SATURDAY:  The outlook calls for mostly cloudy. Temperatures will be around 20 degrees with a 20% of precipitation. Look for winds to be about 10-15mph out of the SW. If temperatures warm more than expected conditions in the snowpack will become more unstable   

FORECAST REGION: Since our last Avalanche Advisory on Friday Dec. 16th, we’ve see an additional 5-12 inches of new snow  snow fall across the forecast region. This new load of snow on top of a relatively weak snowpack will drastically increase the  the avalanche danger. Travel in the backcountry is not recommended. Human triggered avalanches are likely today.

 The Avalanche Warning will expire at 7:00AM Dec. 21. The next avalanche advisory will be issued December 23rd.  Today is a good day to avoid the backcountry all together. It might be a good day to enjoy some powder at your local ski area.




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Rich Landers writes and photographs stories and columns for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including Outdoors feature sections on Sunday and Thursday.