We are into full summer mode with HOT to above normal temperatures forecasted into the weekend. With this great summer weather comes the likely chance of afternoon thunderstorms, particularly along the east side of the Columbia and Rocky Mountains. Many areas have fire bans in place and are experiencing light to mild smoke from forest fires.
Summer is in full swing in the Rocky and Columbia Mountains!
Things have been heating up in the past week with hot and dry being predominant. At the same time we have seen some rapidly moving cold fronts creating lightning storms and wind events. For the coming week it looks like much of the same.
Overall trail conditions are good but vestiges of winter and spring can still be seen on high passes and along the continental divide with snow and muddy sections being reported on some routes.
Well this weekend is looking a lot like last weekend…… unsettled and wet on Saturday and nice on Sunday! A cold front will move into northern BC and the Rockies on Friday night into Saturday morning bringing thunderstorms and precipitation. The southern areas should remain dry and could see above seasonal temperatures.
Well summer is finally back in Canada, along with the mosquitos and no-seeums. This weeks cool temps and precipitation has brought snow across most of the Kootenays and Rocky Mountains above 2500m. I would expect on sunny aspects that it is disappearing fast. The weekend is looking hot with possible unsettled weather on Friday night into Saturday and isolated thunderstorms. With things warming up and melting out I would be anticipating rockfall, surface snow avalanches and whats left of cornices to be week.
As we approach the Canada Day long weekend, we also approach an unsettled week of weather. Many forecasts are calling for rain through the weekend with snow at higher elevations, and way up high one could assume there could be some concern about smaller storm/wind slabs in the short term, and loose wet avalanches in gully features.
As I write this the coastal alpine peaks are enshrouded in cloud and it’s below freezing on the summits. The weather the past week has been unsettled, with fresh snow in the alpine making for tricky conditions. Photos an experienced friend showed me from a failed attempt on Mt Tantalus on Tuesday looked like January, with lots of rime ice. He also noted that the crevasses were starting to open up since the previous week, but the bergshrunds were still in good condition.
In the North Shore Mountains there is still a lot of compact above 1200m, although very little below this.
The official start to summer has many places in the Rockies and Columbia's under a thunderstorm watch as unsettled showery weather rolls in for the next couple days. Sunday looks drier, with more unsettled weather Monday before things improve. Keep a close eye on the sky for afternoon thunderstorm development and bring what you need for a quick retreat if necessary.
Junuary on the coast has ended. Some intense the past couple of days has resulted in isothermal snow conditions in the alpine, poor freezes, and a slab avalanche cycle within recent (last week) and old snow layers up to Size 3. Several guides have turned around on common objectives in the Sea to Sky corridor for this reason along with the threat of falling cornices.
Many alpine rock objectives have now come into shape, with good conditions being reported in areas such as the Tantalus Range.
The fabulous spring mountain conditions have been interrupted by the snow, rain and wind of the past week. In Glacier Park, reports of up to 50cm of new snow having fallen above treeline over the past few days. Similar amounts in the Nakusp region at treeline and I would suspect that is representative of conditions throughout most of the Columbia mtns alpine.
The weather on the coast has been unsettled since last weekend, with 30-40cm of new snow accumulated in the alpine on Blackcomb Mountain. The new snow was wet and sluffing today, as you would expect this time of year. No slab avalanche activity has been reported, although it is possible with that much new snow. The new snow fell as rain below treeline, which has helped to melt away last winters snow lingering on the trails.