Avalanche center issues high country alert

The Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center has issued a backcountry avalanche watch for the five North Idaho counties above 5,000 feet through 1 p.m. Sunday as weekend storms are expected to increase avalanch danger to high.

Heavy snowfall and strong winds above 4,000 feet will form slabs of dense snow atop unstable crust that will bring dangerous conditions in steep areas, and any avalanches that occur will have the potential for long runs and high velocity.

Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.