Avalanche Advisory: Friday - Mar 22, 2019

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 23, 2019 @ 6:59 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 22, 2019 @ 6:59 am
Issued by Josh Feinberg - Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center

MODERATE avalanche danger could exist this morning on east to south facing slopes at low to mid elevations as full sunshine could result in small loose wet point releases in rocky terrain.  Moderate westerly winds could result in small fresh wind slab formation at upper elevations in isolated areas.

1. Low

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

2. Moderate

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

2. Moderate

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Below Treeline
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
    Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
Avalanche Problem 1: Loose Wet
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With fully-sunny skies expected throughout the forecast zone for the first time this morning since 3-10” of new snow fell since Tuesday night, small loose-wet point releases will be likely on steeper E to S facing rocky terrain.  Be aware of what is above you as slopes warm from sun exposure this morning.  While a slide will not likely be large enough to burry a person, it could sweep someone off their feet and lead to nasty fall in consequential terrain, and could dislodge rocks that would be bad for your noggin.  This concern will decrease if skies are cloudier than expected, and cloudy skies this afternoon will limit this threat from westerly facing slopes. 

Avalanche Problem 2: Wind Slab
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Light to Moderate westerly winds gusting up to 30mph could form isolated fresh wind slabs at upper elevations and in extreme terrain.  3-10” of new snow fell between Tuesday night and last night.  The majority of this snow fell on Tuesday night accompanied by strong SW winds, but loose snow left in wind-prone areas could be transported into small sensitive wind slabs on N-E-S facing terrain today.  Look for fresh denser wind deposits just below ridgelines and the sidewalls of couloirs.  Triggering a small wind slab could result in a bad fall.

advisory discussion

Clear skies showing off the full moon last night allowed for a solid re-freeze of snow surfaces. Things will take a little longer this morning to soften, and firm surfaces on many aspects could make travel challenging.  With springtime, crampons and a whippet or ice ax are a good idea, especially in steeper terrain. 

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Sunny skies this morning will become mostly cloudy by this afternoon as a fast cold front makes its way into our area bringing light snow tonight thru Saturday afternoon. Light SW to W winds with gusts up to 30mph this afternoon are expected, with high temperatures around freezing near 10,000’.  We could see some flurries this afternoon, up to a couple inches of snow tonight, and up to a few more inches Saturday.  

A quite active spring weather pattern will continue thru next week, with another small storm expected for Monday, and than a more substantial solid storm Tuesday night thru Wednesday night.

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. Slight chance of snow showers in the afternoon. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 15%. Cloudy. Chance of snow in the evening, then snow after midnight. Snow levels 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Mostly cloudy then becoming partly cloudy. Snow likely in the morning, then chance of snow showers in the afternoon. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 65%.
Temperatures: 33 to 43. deg. F. 21 to 26. deg. F. 28 to 38. deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: Southwest around 15 mph. Gusts up to 25 mph in the afternoon. Southwest around 15 mph with gusts to 25 mph. Southwest around 15 mph with gusts to 30 mph.
Expected snowfall: 90% probability up to 1 inch. 10% probability up to 0 inches. | SWE = trace amounts. in. 90% probability of 1 to 4 inches. 10% probability up to 1 inch. | SWE = less than 0.10 inch. in. 60% probability of 1 to 4 inches. 40% probability of 4 to 6 inches. | SWE = less than 0.10 inch. in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Sunny then becoming mostly cloudy. Slight chance of snow showers in the afternoon. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 15%. Cloudy. Chance of snow in the evening, then snow after midnight. Snow levels 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 80%. Mostly cloudy. Snow likely in the morning, then chance of snow showers in the afternoon. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Temperatures: 26 to 32. deg. F. 16 to 21. deg. F. 21 to 27. deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: West 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Southwest 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Southwest 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph.
Expected snowfall: 90% probability up to 1 inch. 10% probability up to 0 inches. | SWE = trace amounts. in. 90% probability of 1 to 4 inches. 10% probability up to 1 inch. | SWE = up to 0.15 inch. in. 70% probability up to 4 inches. 30% probability of 4 to 6 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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