Avalanche Advisory: Saturday - Feb 8, 2020

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON February 9, 2020 @ 6:22 am
Avalanche Advisory published on February 8, 2020 @ 6:22 am
Issued by Steve Mace - ESAC

LOW avalanche danger persists at all elevations today. While generally safe avalanche conditions exist, be on the lookout for isolated areas of unstable snow. Surface warming deserves extra consideration today on solar aspects.

1. Low

?

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

1. Low

?

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

1. Low

?

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
  • Type ?
  • Aspect/Elevation ?
  • Likelihood ?
    Certain
    Very Likely
    Likely
    Possible
    Unlikely
  • Size ?
    Historic
    Very Large
    Large
    Small

While radiational cooling last night likely led to a weak surface refreeze air temperatures remained well above freezing at mid and lower elevations. Sunny skies and very warm temperatures are expected to continue today. Expect surface melting to occur quickly this morning. While consequential loose wet avalanches are unlikely, they are not out of the realm of possibility today. Be on the lookout for warming surface snow on solar aspects at mid and lower elevations. Wet, sticky snow surface, rollerballs, and pinwheels are all signs of surface warming and may foreshadow larger point release avalanches.

advisory discussion

The spring-like weather continues today before an abrupt shift back to winter-like temperatures tomorrow.  Field observations continue to highlight thin coverage and variable surface conditions. Some solar aspects that still hold snow are nearly isothermal and resembling a snowpack more typical to spring. Conversely, many shaded aspects are equally thin and harboring a variety of surface crusts and loose dry faceted snow. While our recent weather patterns have led to relatively benign avalanche conditions, isolated instabilities may exist throughout the range. Continue to practice safe travel techniques and keep in mind that the most significant hazards may be the thin coverage and variable surface conditions.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Expect another day of warm temperatures and clear skies today before a strong cold front sweeps through the area starting this evening.  Daytime highs are likely to be in the high 40°’s today at mid-elevations, and moderate to strong winds are expected out of the west.

A brief low-pressure system promises to bring unsettled weather starting tonight. Strong northerly winds are expected to increase throughout the evening and into tomorrow as the temperatures drop below freezing.  We may see some light snow showers out of this system but we don’t expect to see high snow totals.

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 Clear then becoming partly cloudy. Slight chance of snow after midnight. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
Temperatures: 40 to 50. deg. F. 10 to 16. deg. F. 18 to 26. deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: Southwest 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 45 mph shifting to the west 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 55 mph in the afternoon. Northwest 15 to 25 mph. Gusts up to 45 mph decreasing to 35 mph after midnight. Northeast 15 to 30 mph with gusts to 60 mph.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 80% probability up to 1 inch. 20% probability no accumulation. | SWE = less than 0.10 inch. in. 60% probability of 1 to 3 inches. 40% probability of 3 to 4 inches. | SWE = less than 0.10 inch. in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: Sunny. Mostly clear. Slight chance of snow after midnight. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Mostly cloudy. Chance of snow. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 45%.
Temperatures: 30 to 38. deg. F. 4 to 10. deg. F. 9 to 17. deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: West 20 to 35 mph. Gusts up to 45 mph increasing to 55 mph in the afternoon. West 25 to 35 mph becoming northwest 15 to 25 mph after midnight. Gusts up to 50 mph. Northeast 25 to 35 mph increasing to 30 to 45 mph in the afternoon. Gusts up to 70 mph.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 80% probability up to 1 inch. 20% probability no accumulation. | SWE = trace amounts. in. 60% probability of 1 to 3 inches. 40% probability of 3 to 5 inches. | SWE = less than 0.10 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.

ESAC receives significant financial support from ...