Avalanche Advisory: Friday - Feb 21, 2020

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON February 22, 2020 @ 6:21 am
Avalanche Advisory published on February 21, 2020 @ 6:21 am
Issued by Chris Engelhardt - Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center

LOW avalanche danger exists at all Elevations.  Shallow overall snow coverage and variable surface conditions present the biggest hazards in the backcountry right now.

1. Low

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Above Treeline
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

1. Low

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Near Treeline
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.

1. Low

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Below Treeline
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
    Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
Avalanche Problem 1: Normal Caution
  • Type ?

A clear night and temperatures in the 20sF should have provided a relatively good freeze overnight, this combined with cooling southerly winds and increasing clouds in the afternoon should keep loose wet concerns at a minimum today. Overall snow coverage is becoming quite minimal to non-existent on most due south aspects, except where previously pasted in gully features and cross loaded areas on mountains that tend to get more snow in the Mammoth area. Continue to be vigilant in case weather conditions are different than expected, expect potential rock fall on solar aspects, and be prepared for boiler plate, firm conditions if attempting north facing couloirs or high exposed alpine slopes.  Risk is high right now and Reward unfortunately low with continuing low tide conditions.

advisory discussion

The biggest hazards to be aware of are shallow coverage and inconsistent snow surfaces including breakable crust, loose faceted unsupportable areas and section of firm wind board.  The overall snowpack continues to degrade and disappear as drought conditions decimate our area.  Solar aspects are providing the best option for soft surface conditions at lower more sheltered elevations, but finding these nuggets is proving more difficult as we continue to lose snow. The snow has been sitting for so long now underneath prevailing sunny conditions and warm temps that we are beginning to see the formation of slight sun cups and minor penitentes on the solar aspects.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Another sunny start is on tap for Friday which will eventually give way to cloudier conditions as a small system enters the area. Light to moderate (15-25mph) southerly winds will continue to blow and temps are forecast to be well above freezing in lower elevations with the higher country seeing 27-35F above 10000ft. Potential for 1” of snow and perhaps slightly more is slated for tonight for the Sierra crest and southern Mono County.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8,000 ft. to 10,000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Sunny then becoming mostly cloudy. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 5%. Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow after midnight. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 15%. Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Temperatures: 35 to 45. deg. F. 21 to 27. deg. F. 34 to 42. deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: Light winds becoming south around 15 mph in the afternoon. Gusts up to 25 mph. Light winds. Gusts up to 25 mph in the evening. Light winds becoming north around 15 mph in the afternoon.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 80% probability of up to 1 inch. 20% probability of 1 to 2 inches. | SWE = trace amounts. in. 70% probability of up to 1 inch. 30% probability of 1-2 inches. | SWE = less than 0.10 inch. in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Sunny then becoming mostly cloudy. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 5%. Mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow after midnight. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Cloudy. Chance of snow. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
Temperatures: 27 to 35. deg. F. 16 to 21. deg. F. 25 to 33. deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: South around 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph. Southeast around 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph. North around 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 80% probability of up to 1 inch. 20% probability of 1 to 2 inches. | SWE = trace amounts. in. 70% probability up to 2 inches. 30% probability of 2-4 inches. | SWE = up to 0.15 inch. 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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