SEATTLE -

The Northwest Avalanche Center says the danger of an avalanche on the west slopes of the Washington Cascades and the Mount Hood area is high.

The Forest Service center in Seattle says most west slope areas in the mountains have recently received about of foot of new snow and are at or near their season maximums.

With warming from sunshine Tuesday and over the next few days the avalanche danger is likely to persist this week. Hikers, climbers and skiers are advised to stay out of avalanche terrain.

The "high" avalanche danger is the fourth of five warning levels issued by the Northwest Avalanche Center. Only "extreme" is higher.