A special avalanche advisory is in place throughout Washington as the region experiences the highest freezing levels in more than two months.
The advisory went into effect late Tuesday and will last through 6 p.m. Thursday (May 4).
“The potential for wet snow avalanches and cornice failure will rise substantially over this period, creating dangerous avalanche conditions,” according to the Northwest Avalanche Center. “Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.”
Freezing levels range from 11,000 to 12,000 feet.
In Forks, where the freezing level is just under 11,000, the National Weather Service joked on Twitter that “area vampires will only need a light jacket with their rain gear.”
Mount Rainier National Park rangers said they saw signs of instability in the snow Tuesday and state Department of Transportation crews reported significant avalanche activity in the Chinook Pass area on the east side of the park.
Temperatures at Paradise through Thursday are expected to climb into the low 60s. In the lowlands, temperatures will be in the mid-70s.
These will be the warmest days of the year so far, the Weather Service has said.
The avalanche forecast includes Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass, the Olympics, the west slopes north from the Canadian border to Skagit River, the west slopes central from Skagit River to south of Interstate 90, west slopes south from south of I-90 to the Columbia River.
It also covers the east slopes north from the Canadian border to Lake Chelan, east slopes central from Lake Chelan to south of I-90, east slopes south from south of I-90 to the Columbia River and Mount Hood.
The Northwest Avalanche Center stopped issuing daily avalanche forecasts April 15 but will continue to provide weekend outlooks on Thursdays through May.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653