AVALANCHE UPDATE: Moderate snow, winds forecast Wednesday; possible strong winds Saturday


Up to eight millimeters of precipitation and winds gusting to 43 kilometers an hour are forecast Wednesday, with additional occasional snow during the week and possibly strong winds this weekend, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and Storm.no.

Snow is expected begin falling early Wednesday and will be at its heaviest during the afternoon and evening, according to the NMI. Winds are forecast to reach peak speeds late in the morning.

The institute’s forecast for Saturday is a trace of snow and light winds, but Storm.no is forecasting winds up to 58 km/h Saturday and Sunday.

The storm that triggered Saturday’s avalanche produced about 21 millimeters of precipitation and winds peaking at 120 km/h.

Svalbard Gov. Kjerstin Askholt said Wednesday’s storm is not expected to present an avalanche danger in areas previously evacuated, noting experts who assessed vulnerable areas erred on the side of caution when determining the risk of future slides. The experts and local officials will be continuously monitoring areas considered at risk until further notice.