Avalanche Advisory: Monday - Mar 4, 2019

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 5, 2019 @ 6:51 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 4, 2019 @ 6:51 am
Issued by Josh Feinberg - Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center

MODERATE avalanche danger exists today due to wind slabs at upper elevations and sunshine leading to loose wet avalanches at all elevations.  Evaluate snow and terrain carefully. 

2. Moderate

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

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: Wind Slab
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1-2ft of snow fell on Saturday.  Strong SW winds were transporting snow at high elevations throughout the range yesterday and moderate gusty SW winds are expected to continue today.  Wind slabs could range from fresh and sensitive to older and more stubborn.  Be on the lookout for denser wind deposited snow, especially on the leeward side of ridgelines and sidewalls of gullies.  Do your own localized assessments before committing to consequential terrain while keeping in mind the great variability that can exist across a slope.  Fresh wind loaded E to SE facing slopes could be more concerning as morning sunshine warms and weakens them.  Avalanches could still be large enough to bury a person today.    

Avalanche Problem 2: Loose Wet
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Skies were sunnier than expected in many areas yesterday, and quite a bit of loose wet activity took place in the morning hours.  Fresh wet debris extended out of gully bottoms around Convict Lake yesterday.  With full sunshine forecasted for most of today and lighter winds, loose wet activity will likely be more widespread.  Plan your travels accordingly to avoid exposure from warming slopes above.  A small point release starting near rock bands could easily entrain enough snow to sweep a rider off their feet for a violent ride in the confines of a gully or couloir.  Rollerballs and sinking in to your boot top in wet snow are signs to reconsider the slope you are on, and that you could trigger and be captured by a loose wet snow slide.   

advisory discussion

It is now March, and the feel of spring is in the air.  The higher sun angle means that slopes are becoming more susceptible to warming than they were just a couple weeks ago.  Timing and subtle aspect changes can mean the difference between cold wintery snow and wet threatening mank.  Even though you may be on a slightly NE facing slope at the moment, be wary of the E or SE facing slopes above that may be warming that could feed onto your slope!  Some slopes that warmed and consolidated or even shed yesterday may be less prone to sliding today, but increased warming from more sunshine and less wind today could mean it and others are even more prone.   

Give cornices a healthy respect today too! As you travel along ridges stay well back from the edge if you don’t know what’s under you.  Sunshine today could also warm and weaken them.   

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Today will be the relative calm before the next warm AR storm with sunny skies, SW winds with moderate gusts and highs in the low 30s around 10,000’.  

Clouds and winds will begin increasing tonight thru tomorrow, as snowfall begins tomorrow afternoon with several feet expected before Thursday morning.  The focal point of this storm looks to be farther south than previous storms.  A cold front moves in toward the end of this storm on Wednesday night, and continued unsettled cold weather remains on-tap thru the end of the week. 

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8,000 ft. to 10,000 ft.
Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather: Sunny. Mostly cloudy. Cloudy. Chance of snow in the morning, then snow in the afternoon. Snow levels below 7000 feet increasing to 7000 feet in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 85%.
Temperatures: 34 to 42. deg. F. 21 to 26. deg. F. 33 to 39. deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: Southwest around 15 mph with gusts to 40 mph. Light winds becoming southwest around 15 mph with gusts to 50 mph after midnight. South around 15 mph with gusts to 65 mph.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 70% probability of 2 to 5 inches. 30% probability of 6 to 10 inches. | SWE = 0.20-0.45 inch. in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Monday Monday Night Tuesday
Weather: Sunny then becoming partly cloudy. Partly cloudy then becoming mostly cloudy. Cloudy. Chance of snow in the morning, then snow in the afternoon. Snow levels below 7000 feet increasing to 7000 feet in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 85%.
Temperatures: 27 to 33. deg. F. 17 to 22. deg. F. 26 to 31. deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: Southwest 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph. Southwest 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph increasing to 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 50 mph after midnight. South 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 50 mph increasing to 30 to 45 mph with gusts to 75 mph in the afternoon.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 70% probability of 3 to 5 inches. 30% probability of 6 to 10 inches. | SWE = 0.25-0.50 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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