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Wet avalanches

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Choosing a time is the key to dealing with wet avalanches. Avoid starting zones and avalanche lanes when the snow is damp or wet from rain, from heating during the day, or does not freeze overnight.


-Wet flakes (avalanches) are a subclass of wet avalanches and occur when a thicker layer of harder snow becomes so damp or wet that it comes loose from the underlying layer.

-Wet loose snow (-avalines) is another subclass and is formed if the wet snowflake becomes so wet that it loses all connection.

-The problem can usually be detected by examining whether the surface snow is wet and looking for newly triggered wet avalanches, snowballs or snow wheels that have rolled down steep slopes.

Conditions that cause avalanche activity can develop rapidly but are generally quite predictable.

- Wet avalanches have a tendency to become large.

-Moves slower but is often much more powerful than dry avalanches due to higher density.

-Usually limited to steeper slopes in specific elevation zones and latitudes (sunny slopes).

-Especially a spring phenomenon when it is warm enough, when the solar radiation is strong or when it is raining.

-Is more common during the hottest part of the day and only lasts for hours because the wet surface snow often freezes at night.

-During periods without re-freezing, the problem may persist for a long time.