Avalanche Advisory: Saturday - Feb 15, 2020

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON February 16, 2020 @ 6:54 am
Avalanche Advisory published on February 15, 2020 @ 6:54 am
Issued by Josh Feinberg - Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center

LOW avalanche danger exists at all elevations.  Surface softening of sunny aspects will likely occur, but remain mostly unconcerning.  Use caution navigating thru variable and firm conditions, and be on the lookout for obstacles.  

 

 

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: Normal Caution
  • Type ?

Sunny skies and mild temperatures reaching ~40°F around 10,000’ will again lead to some surfacing softening on sunny aspects (notably SE-S-SW) that aren’t cooled by today’s 15-30mph west winds. This surface melt will continue to remain mostly unconcerning. The snow on sunny aspects has become well adjusted to the freeze-thaw cycle, and without significantly warmer temperatures and higher “spring time” sun angles loose wet instabilities will remain minimal.  The period of daily “thaw” however will offer improved riding conditions if your timing is right and slopes aren’t cooled by wind or cloud cover.    

 

The biggest concern to safety is still the firm and variable conditions that abound in unsheltered areas. A fall in many places would be difficult to self arrest.  Use proper tools such as ski crampons, crampons and ice ax, and most importantly good judgement.   

 
advisory discussion

The last significant snowfall we’ve had was now a month ago on January 16th when it snowed ~9”. Periods of extreme winds from every direction over the past month and a half have led to a moon-scape on exposed slopes of cratered sastrugi snow to firm and breakable windboards.  Our shallow snowpack is hanging on.  Northerly facing slopes show little change in depth, while sunny aspects are becoming scrappier and scrappier.  More southerly aspects tend to be smoother, but pose their own dangers of even more obstacles and frozen firm surfaces if the timing is off.  Facets continue to form, and in more sheltered north facing areas softer snow can still be found.   

 
Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Sunshine, more mild temperatures reaching 40°F around 10,000’, and west winds in the 15-30mph range is the forecast for today.  SW to W winds will increase substantially with gusts in the 50-60mph range tonight thru tomorrow as a low pressure system moves into the west coast well north of us. Unfortunately initial thoughts that this system might give us a dusting of snow has dimished.  Mild and dry conditions look to prevail thru the end of the month, with a couple small chances of minimal snowfall.

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8,000 ft. to 10,000 ft.
Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: Sunny. Snow levels below 7000 feet increasing to 7500 feet in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Partly cloudy then becoming mostly cloudy. Snow levels 8000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Mostly cloudy. Snow levels 7500 feet. Chance of precipitation is 10%.
Temperatures: 41 to 51. deg. F. 27 to 32. deg. F. 39 to 49. deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: West around 15 mph with gusts to 30 mph. West around 15 mph. Gusts up to 30 mph increasing to 45 mph after midnight. Southwest 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 55 mph.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: Sunny. Snow levels below 7000 feet increasing to 7500 feet in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Partly cloudy then becoming mostly cloudy. Snow levels 8000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 0%. Mostly cloudy. Snow levels 8000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 10%.
Temperatures: 32 to 40. deg. F. 22 to 27. deg. F. 30 to 38. deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: West 15 to 25 mph. West 15 to 30 mph. Gusts up to 50 mph after midnight. West 30 to 45 mph with gusts to 60 mph.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. 0 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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