Avalanche Advisory: Saturday - Mar 16, 2019

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON March 17, 2019 @ 6:34 am
Avalanche Advisory published on March 16, 2019 @ 6:34 am
Issued by Steve Mace - ESAC

The avalanche hazard will be LOW at upper elevations today while increasing to MODERATE at mid and lower elevations.  The primary concern today will be Loose Wet avalanches on solar aspects. Wind slabs will be unlikely today but not impossible to find in isolated areas at upper elevations. 

1. Low

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

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: Loose Wet
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Rising temperatures, very light winds, and the intense sun will lead to increased risk of loose wet avalanches today.  While the risk will be greatest on solar aspects at lower and mid-elevations it may be possible to see things softening up at upper elevations in confined areas and near cliffs. Be on the lookout for signs of warming like rollerballs, pinwheels and sticky wet surface snow as these events can foreshadow larger loose wet avalanches.  While resulting avalanches are likely to be small, some may entrain enough snow to be hazardous to backcountry travelers.  Be particularly cautious in areas where terrain traps are present and the consequences of an avalanche are amplified.

Avalanche Problem 2: Wind Slab
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Triggering a wind slab avalanche has become unlikely today. This does not mean it will be impossible. Isolated areas of wind slab may still exist at upper elevations particularly in complex and extreme terrain such as couloirs, unsupported slopes, and convex rollovers. Do your own localized assessments if you find yourself in suspect terrain and use surface clues like uneven snow surface, cornices, and firm hollow sounding snow to identify areas of increased concern.  

 

advisory discussion

Don’t forget your sunscreen today if you head into the backcountry.  The sun is high in the sky and things are getting warm.  These warm temperatures are helping to settle and consolidate our snowpack. While surface conditions are still in somewhat of a transitional state recent observations suggest pleasant skiing can be found if your timing is right.  Remember that instabilities associated with warming are largely aspect dependent and will track across southerly slopes with the sun throughout the day from east to west.  Increased caution is also recommended if you are traveling near cornices today.  With warming temperatures, these large overhanging blocks of snow will become more sensitive and less predictable. Be sure to give cornices a wide berth and be cautious if you find your self underneath one today.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Expect another warm clear day today.   Skies will be clear today with highs expected to reach into the high 30’s today at upper elevations. Winds will be light today and aren’t likely to cool things down much.  

Our warm dry weather will continue through the weekend with a chance of precipitation early next week.

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. Sunny.
Temperatures: 41 to 47. deg. F. 19 to 24. deg. F. 41 to 49. deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: Light winds. Light winds. Light winds.
Expected snowfall: None in. None in. None in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Saturday Saturday Night Sunday
Weather: Sunny. Clear. Sunny.
Temperatures: 32 to 37. deg. F. 17 to 22. deg. F. 33 to 39. deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: Light winds. Light winds. Light winds.
Expected snowfall: None in. None in. None 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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