Avalanche Advisory: Sunday - Jan 17, 2021

THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON January 18, 2021 @ 6:18 am
Avalanche Advisory published on January 17, 2021 @ 6:18 am
Issued by Josh Feinberg - Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center

Avalanche danger is LOW.  The greatest safety concern is still navigating all the obstacles of our thin snowpack and the variable surface conditions that exist. Isolated small loose-wet instabilities will likely develop on steep slopes with southerly exposure as they warm from the sun. 

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: Normal Caution
  • Type ?
advisory discussion

One more day of unseasonably warm temperatures and sunny skies will warm snow surfaces significantly on solar aspects and low-mid elevation slopes.  This will take longer today than yesterday, as clear skies overnight led to a stronger refreeze. While this will mostly be a concern in how enjoyable it makes travel conditions, on steep slopes with southerly exposure where enough snow actually resides, small loose wet instabilities could become concerning.  If your skis start sinking into wet snow, it may be possible to start a small slough that could knock someone off their feet in steep terrain.  Timing is everything, start early.  

The thin snowpack with many obstacles is still the greatest safety concern.  Firm snow surfaces make it prudent to carry crampons and ice-ax/whippet for endeavors into steeper more exposed terrain.   

Continue to practice safe travel protocols such as exposing one person at a time as the existence of a pocket of unstable snow is never impossible. Developing good habits could save someone’s life.

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
weather summary

Today will be our last day of “springtime in January” before various cold fronts move thru from tonight thru the end of the month.  Expect temperatures to be a couple of degrees warmer today than yesterday, again reaching the mid-40s around 10,000’, with sunny skies.  Winds should remain light with gusts over ridgetops into the 30mph range out of the North before gradually increasing overnight thru Tuesday out of the NE, with a High Wind Watch in effect for Monday night thru Tuesday.

The first cold front tonight will drop temperatures ~15 degrees back down to seasonal and bring a welcome chance of light snowfall Monday morning, although accumulation should be negligible. Better chances of snow exist for the end of the week thru the weekend into early next week as more low-pressure systems impact our area, fingers crossed!

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: Sunny Clear then becoming partly cloudy. Mostly cloudy then becoming sunny. Chance of snow in the morning.
Temperatures: 44-54 deg. F. 23-29 deg. F. 30-38 deg. F.
Mid Slope Winds: Light winds. Light winds becoming north around 15 mph with gusts to 35 mph after midnight. North 15 to 30 mph. Gusts up to 45 mph increasing to 55 mph in the afternoon.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. Up to 1", less than 0.1" SWE in.
Over 10,000 ft.
Sunday Sunday Night Monday
Weather: Sunny Clear then becoming partly cloudy. Mostly cloudy then becoming sunny. Chance of snow through the day.
Temperatures: 37-45 deg. F. 17-22 deg. F. 23-31 deg. F.
Ridge Top Winds: North around 15 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Northwest 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 35 mph. North 25 to 35 mph increasing to 30 to 45 mph in the afternoon. Gusts up to 65 mph.
Expected snowfall: 0 in. 0 in. Up to 1", less than 0.1" SWE 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 ...