Eastern Sierra Avalanche Advisory

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON April 22, 2019 @ 6:51 am
Avalanche Advisory published on April 21, 2019 @ 6:51 am
Issued by Steve Mace - ESAC

*This will be our final avalanche advisory for the 2018/19 season. We will continue to publish snowpack summaries on Thursdays through May 9th. Danger ratings are no longer being formally issued as conditions can change over multiple day periods. *

* This Avalanche Advisory is in effect for Sunday, April 21st*

Transitional springtime conditions exist throughout the forecast area with heightened avalanche hazard in specific areas. Expect daytime warming to increase the risk of Loose Wet avalanches on all aspects and at all elevations.  You can also expect to find fresh sensitive wind slabs on specific terrain features at mid and upper elevations. Evaluate snow conditions and terrain carefully and avoid features of concern.

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Near Treeline

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Below Treeline
Avalanche Problem 1: Loose Wet
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Partly cloudy skies may limit the solar gain today and moderate north winds might help to keep things cool. However, daytime temperatures are expected to be warm today and the green housing effect will be strong.  It is likely that we will see enough surface warming to make loose wet avalanches concerning on all aspects. Expect this to be more pronounced on solar aspects if the cloud cover is less than expected today. Be on the lookout for wet, sticky snow surface, rollerballs and increasing boot penetration as these are all signs of surface warming and may foreshadow larger point release avalanches. 

Avalanche Problem 2: Wind Slab
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Precipitation totals from yesterdays storm will vary across the forecast area and will be higher in the alpine. This recent storm was accompanied by strong southwest winds, loading northerly and easterly terrain at mid and upper elevations. As the winds shift to the north today be on the lookout for fresh sensitive wind slabs on all aspects.  While resulting avalanches are likely to be small, there may be enough snow to take you off your feet or carry you through unpleasant terrain.  Problem areas will be specific to terrain features that encourage drifting. The leeward sides of ridgelines, gully features, and cross-loaded depressions are all suspect.  Be particularly cautious in extreme terrain or on steep unsupported slopes where the consequences of an avalanche are heightened.  Surface clues such as blowing snow, recent cornice growth and uneven snow surfaces can help you to identify and avoid areas of recent wind deposit. 

 

advisory discussion

It’s hard to believe that this is our final advisory of the 2018/19 season.  It has been quite the winter here in the Sierra, and the spring skiing is sure to last for quite some time.  As we transition into a more predictable spring snowpack, it will be important to keep an eye on the weather. Each new storm will bring a wave of renewed avalanche danger. Stay safe out there and enjoy the spring!

We at ESAC want to extend a huge thank you to all those who have been contributing your observations. Your continued support is invaluable and we couldn’t do our job without you.  We will be publishing a snowpack summery on Thursdays through mid-May and the observation page will stay active through the spring. Please continue to post your observations and be sure to check in to get updates on conditions.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Expect partly cloudy skies today with isolated snow shower in the afternoon. Temperatures are expected to be warm today, with highs expected in the upper 30’s at upper elevations. Winds are expected to be moderate out of the north with gusts reaching 40 mph at ridge tops.

The winds are expected to ramp up this evening as the skies clear. Expect a good freeze tonight before things start to warm up for the remainder of the week.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8,000 ft. to 10,000 ft.
Sunday Sunday Night Monday
Weather: Partly cloudy. Isolated snow showers in the afternoon. Clear. Sunny.
Temperatures: 39 to 49. deg. F. 23 to 28. deg. F. 44 to 54. deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: North 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 40 mph. North 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 45 mph. North 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 45 mph.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Sunday Sunday Night Monday
Weather: Partly cloudy. Isolated snow showers in the afternoon. Clear. Sunny.
Temperatures: 30 to 38. deg. F. 19 to 24. deg. F. 35 to 43. deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: North 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 40 mph. North 20 to 35 mph with gusts to 55 mph. Northeast 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 55 mph.
Expected snowfall: Less than 1 inch. | SWE = trace amounts. in. 0 in. 0 in.
Disclaimer
This Avalanche Advisory is designed to generally describe avalanche conditions where local variations always occur. This product only applies to backcountry areas located outside established ski area boundaries. The information in this Avalanche Advisory is provided by the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center, who is solely responsible for its content.

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