Lots of people were out playing in the mountains yesterday enjoying the spring-like conditions. Things changed quickly and the snowpack became a patchwork of various avalanche problems, and more extreme warming will likely bring further change today. High pressure has settled in over California again and temperatures will climb even higher today than yesterday.
Transient northerly winds on Saturday blew soft wintry snow onto southerly aspects creating stubborn wind slabs on slopes where we don’t usually see them. Those same wind slabs became a problem for some skiers in Virginia Lakes yesterday as rapidly rising temperatures probably weakened the bonds holding the old slab to the underlying snow. Be aware, as things get even warmer today, of where previous wind loading has occurred under ridgelines and across steep gullies on southerly and easterly aspects. Increasing cloud cover may act as a reflector, bouncing solar radiation back down onto the snow and warming it further.
On solar slopes with soft, less cohesive snow, and especially near rocky outcrops and in cirques and gullies, loose wet avalanches will be possible as the sun melts the surface. Be attentive to rollerballs coming down the hill around you. They indicate that wet snow is loosing strength. Getting off of steep solar slopes before they get too warm is your best travel technique for dealing with wet snow avalanches.
Below ~9,000’ rocks and brush are still poking up from the surface and avalanches will have less snow to move down the hill.