Avalanche Advisory: Friday - Mar 6, 2020

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 7, 2020 @ 6:36 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 6, 2020 @ 6:36 am
Issued by Chris Engelhardt - Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center

LOW avalanche danger exists at all elevations Friday. Unseasonably warm temperatures and a minimal freeze overnight could produce Loose Wet and unsupportable snow conditions today in the mid-lower elevations particularly below 9500ft. Remain vigilant for small wind slabs on NW-SE aspects with continued strong to extreme SW winds today.

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: Loose Wet
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There was a minimal freeze overnight with above freezing temperatures throughout the night up to the 9500ft level. Cooling breezes and cloudy conditions should keep dramatic loose wet activity to a minimum, but pay particular attention at the mid and lower elevations where snow may be unsupportable, sticky, and present injury inducing trapdoor conditions. Take your skis off and see how much boot penetration you get; if you’re going well above boot top in wet saturated snow or trenching while skiing you probably should alter your route to terrain that harbors cooler snow conditions.

Avalanche Problem 2: Wind Slab
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Continue to monitor for potential pockets of unstable wind slab on isolated terrain features on NW-SE aspects. Recent field observations have reported last weekend’s new snow becoming firmer as well as exhibiting increasing effects from mountain winds in the form of shallow wind board. Although many starting zones in avalanche terrain are becoming stripped, there could be unique areas where there is fresh wind slab established. Strong to Extreme SW winds will continue to move and deposit snow today producing small unstable pockets of snow in complex terrain. Small slides and spindrift very well could be an issue if you’re in tight and confined alpine terrain today. Pay attention to what is above you and if you’re travelling underneath intricate starting zones that may funnel snow towards you take extra precaution not to expose yourself for lengthy times to overhead hazards. Identify fat looking pillows of snow and be particularly weary of new cornice development, areas adjacent to ridgeline and gullies, and terrain adjacent to rock bands and collection zones.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

A warm and windy day is on tap with temperatures reaching the low 50sF below 10000ft and even up to the low 40sF for the higher elevations above 10000ft. Southwest winds will prevail in the 30-50mph range with gusts up to 75mph for the high country. Mostly cloudy to partly cloudy conditions are expected as a chance of snow is on its way for Saturday with upwards of 3-6” possible for the alpine environment.

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: Mostly cloudy then becoming partly cloudy. Snow levels 7500 feet increasing to 8500 feet in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Partly cloudy. Snow levels 8000 feet decreasing to below 7000 feet after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 5%. Partly cloudy. Chance of snow. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
Temperatures: 42 to 52. deg. F. 25 to 31. deg. F. 31 to 41. deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: South to southwest 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 50 mph. Southwest 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 70 mph. Southwest 15 to 30 mph. Gusts up to 75 mph decreasing to 55 mph in the afternoon.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 70% probability of up to 1 inch. 30% probability of 1 to 2 inches. | SWE = up to 0.15 inch. in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Friday Friday Night Saturday
Weather: Partly cloudy. Snow levels 7500 feet increasing to 8500 feet in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Partly cloudy. Snow levels 8000 feet decreasing to below 7000 feet after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 5%. Mostly cloudy. Snow likely. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 65%.
Temperatures: 32 to 42. deg. F. 18 to 25. deg. F. 21 to 31. deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: Southwest 30 to 50 mph with gusts to 70 mph. Southwest 25 to 40 mph increasing to 35 to 55 mph after midnight. Gusts up to 75 mph. Southwest 35 to 55 mph decreasing to 30 to 45 mph in the afternoon. Gusts up to 75 mph.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 80% probability of up to 2 inches. 20% probability of 2 to 4 inches. | SWE = up to 0.25 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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