Avalanche Advisory: Sunday - Jan 12, 2020

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON January 13, 2020 @ 6:32 am
Avalanche Advisory published on January 12, 2020 @ 6:32 am
Issued by Steve Mace - ESAC

The avalanche danger remains LOW at all elevations today. Isolated wind slabs deserve special consideration at all elevations. While generally safe avalanche conditions exist it will not be impossible to find unstable snow on isolated terrain features.  

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
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Remember that LOW danger does mean NO danger. It remains important to practice safe travel techniques and evaluate terrain carefully. In a range as large and complex as ours, conditions can be quite variable from one end to the other and we cannot discount the possibility of small isolated areas of unstable snow. Heightened awareness is recommended in complex terrain, where unsupported slopes, convex rollovers, confined couloirs, and cross-loaded catchment zones could be harboring isolated instabilities. 

advisory discussion

Ridge tops gusts were recorded over 90 mph yesterday on Mammoth Mountain and Mid slope winds were observed to be very strong. These extreme westerly winds have heavily impacted the forecast area over the last couple of days.   Field observations yesterday identified significant impacts on surface conditions, even in sheltered trees at lower elevations. While it may be possible to find areas where the winds have had less of an impact and soft snow still exists, it will be equally as likely to find areas of isolated wind slab below treeline today.  Don’t be surprised to find recent wind deposits in areas you might not normally expect to see them.  Keep an eye out for surface clues such as uneven snow surfaces, fat looking pillows, and smooth hollow sounding snow.  Signs like these can help you identify and avoid potentially problematic areas.

Beyond the risk of isolated instabilities today, realize that variable surface conditions pose their own risks. Recent observations report slide-for-life conditions in exposed alpine terrain and trapdoor breakable crust in more sheltered areas. Be aware of the travel implications and be prepared for challenging surface conditions.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Expect cloudy skies today with temperatures near freezing at mid-elevations.  Moderate to strong westerly winds are expected today with ridgetop gusts up to 60mph. There is a slight chance we will see a trace of snow tonight with increasing wind speeds and temperatures expected in the teens.

Models suggest we may be in store for some significant winter weather this coming week. While we may see a few inches of snow on Monday night into Tuesday, Wednesday night appears to offer the best chance for significant precipitation.

 

Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Reno NWS
For 8,000 ft. to 10,000 ft.
Sunday Sunday Night Monday
Weather: Partly cloudy then becoming mostly cloudy. Mostly cloudy then becoming partly cloudy. Chance of snow. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 15%. Partly cloudy.
Temperatures: 27 to 35. deg. F. 14 to 19. deg. F. 30 to 38. deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: West 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 50 mph. Southwest 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 65 mph. West 15 to 25 mph with gusts to 50 mph.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 80% probability up to 1 inch. 20% probability no accumulation. | SWE = trace amounts. in. 0 in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Sunday Sunday Night Monday
Weather: Partly cloudy Mostly cloudy then becoming partly cloudy. Slight chance of snow. Snow levels below 7000 feet. Chance of precipitation is 20%. Partly cloudy.
Temperatures: 19 to 27. deg. F. 9 to 14. deg. F. 22 to 30. deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: West 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 60 mph. West 30 to 50 mph with gusts to 75 mph. West 20 to 35 mph. Gusts up to 55 mph decreasing to 45 mph in the afternoon.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 80% probability up to 1 inch. 20% probability no accumulation. | SWE = trace amounts. 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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