Liquid precipitation onto the snowpack. A catalyst for unstable snow.


Rain on snow often signals rapid warming and an unwelcome change in the snowpack, especially if rain is falling on a cold, dry snowpack. Rain on snow can quickly destabilize the snow surface and/or trigger deeper instabilities. Intense or prolonged rain events on a dry snowpack are particularly dangerous.

The combination of additional loading and weakening of the snowpack increase avalanche concerns during prolonged or intense rain on snow events. Credit: