Avalanche Advisory: Friday - Mar 15, 2019

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 16, 2019 @ 6:40 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 15, 2019 @ 6:40 am
Issued by Steve Mace - ESAC

 The avalanche danger will remain MODERATE at upper elevations today and LOW at mid and lower elevations. While lingering wind slabs on specific terrain features at upper elevations remains our biggest concern today, intense solar radiation and warming temperatures may lead to loose wet activity on sunny aspects. 

2. Moderate

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Above Treeline
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.

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.
    Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
Avalanche Problem 1: Wind Slab
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Light winds were experienced yesterday and we can expect the same today, limiting the amount of snow being transported.  while fresh wind slab development is not likely there is still a possibility of finding lingering wind slabs sensitive to human trigger.  While the greatest concern today will be in complex and extreme terrain at upper elevations don’t be surprised to find isolated areas of wind slab at lower elevations. Do your own localized assessments and be suspect of terrain features that encourage drifting such as the leeward sides of ridgelines, gully features, and cross-loaded depressions.  Surface clues like uneven snow surface, cornices, and firm hollow sounding snow can help indicate where nearby wind slabs reside. 

Avalanche Problem 2: Loose Wet
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The strong March sun coupled with light winds and warm daytime temperatures today may lead to loose wet activity on sun-exposed slopes, particularly at lower elevations. Be on the lookout for signs of warming like rollerballs, pinwheels and sticky wet surface snow as these events can foreshadow larger loose wet avalanches. While resulting avalanches are likely to be small, some may entrain enough snow to be hazardous to backcountry travelers. More shaded northerly terrain is still holding soft cold snow in areas and can provide reduced exposure to loose wet activity.

advisory discussion

It is certainly starting to feel like spring on the east side. Surface snow is variable across the landscape with reports yesterday ranging from a variety of melt-freeze crusts and corn like snow on sunny slopes to cold dry powder on more shaded northern aspects and a variety of wind board in more exposed areas.  This is making for some challenging skiing in areas with conditions changing quickly, sometime from one turn to the next.

With daytime temperatures expected above freezing today and strong solar input cornices may become less stable.  These wave-like structures can be unpredictable and dangerous.  Give cornices a wide berth and be cautious if you find your self underneath one today.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Expect a warm mild day with partly cloudy skies today becoming sunny in the afternoon. Temperatures will be warmer today with highs reaching into the mid 30’s at upper elevations and winds will be light out of the east. 

Expect the high-pressure ridge to persist through the weekend marked by light winds, and warm temperatures. Long-term models continue to show a low-pressure system moving into the area as early as Tuesday though precipitation totals look to be relatively mild.  Enjoy the warm clear weather, the faucet may turn on again hear in the near future.

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: Partly cloudy then becoming sunny. Clear. Sunny.
Temperatures: 36 to 42. deg. F. 16 to 22. deg. F. 38 to 46. deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: Light winds becoming east around 10 mph in the afternoon. Light winds. Light winds.
Expected snowfall: None in. None in. None in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Partly cloudy then becoming sunny. Clear. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Sunny. Snow levels below 7000 feet.
Temperatures: 29 to 34. deg. F. 16 to 21. deg. F. 30 to 36. deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: Light winds becoming east around 15 mph in the afternoon. East around 15 mph in the evening becoming light. Light winds.
Expected snowfall: None in. None in. None 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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