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The Avalanche Forecast

Storm Slabs

Storm slab avalanches are caused by loading with new snow. They’re most likely to occur when around 30 cm or more snow falls, or when it snows heavily for 10 hours or more. They vary in size from small to very large and tend to occur on moderately steep slopes. Storm slabs are generally larger and more frequent in the alpine, where the wind can cause new snow to form into a slab, but they can also form in more sheltered areas.

Storm slab problems are usually widespread, so they are best managed by staying out of avalanche terrain until the storm snow has stabilized. Stick to lower angled slopes and dense trees, and stay away from large avalanche paths. Storm slabs usually heal within a few days, so wait for the danger rating to go down before entering avalanche terrain.